Aging introduces a unique dimension into the theory and practice of preventive medicine. Preserving functional status and quality of life assume particular importance in old age. Effective preventive care can serve these goals by compressing the morbidity of old age into a shorter period prior to death and by increasing longevity towards its biological potential. The prevalence of osteoporosis and many other chronic diseases increases steadily with age, as does the clinical significance of these conditions. The pathophysiology of osteoporosis, options for its early detection and treatment and the importance of falls as a precipitant of osteoporotic fractures among the elderly are discussed in detail.