BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Deformed spine. Coloured magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a spine curved due to osteoporosis. The red area highlights two vertebrae of the spine which have collapsed, leading to the excessive curvature known as kyphosis. This condition is caused by osteoporosis or loss of bone tissue, resulting in brittle bones. It is a natural process of ageing, leading to 30% loss of bone mass by the age of 70, along with reduced height and a hunched back. The effects are most severe in elderly and post- menopausal women, as the hormone oestrogen helps to maintain bone mass.
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