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Health Rep. 2011 Sep;22(3):7-14.

Bone health: osteoporosis, calcium and vitamin D.

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Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6.



Osteoporosis is a bone disease that predisposes to fractures. Sufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D is recommended for prevention and treatment.


Based on 28,406 respondents aged 50 or older to the 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)--Healthy Aging, the population who reported being diagnosed with osteoporosis is profiled. Analysis of calcium and vitamin D intake is based on 10,879 respondents aged 50 or older to the 2004 CCHS--Nutrition. Frequencies, averages and cross-tabulations were produced to estimate the prevalence of diagnosed osteoporosis, dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D, the use of supplements, and total calcium and vitamin D intake. Associations between a diagnosis of osteoporosis and socio-economic, dietary and lifestyle factors were examined with multiple logistic regression.


In 2009, 19.2% of women and 3.4% of men aged 50 or older reported having been diagnosed with osteoporosis; the 2004 rates were similar. Age, sex and household income were associated with the probability of reporting osteoporosis. In 2004, based on dietary and supplement intake, 45% to 69% of the population aged 50 or older had inadequate intake of calcium, and 54% to 66% had inadequate intake of vitamin D.


A large percentage of people aged 50 or older, particularly women, have osteoporosis. The prevalence of inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is relatively high.

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