Brittle Bone Disease is a Connective Tissue Disease

Brittle Bone Disease is a tissue disease characterized by, amongst others, very fragile bones. In English it is called Brittle Bones Disease. In German, Glasknochenkrankheit. In Dutch and many other languages "OI". OI is an abbreviation of the Latin name, Osteogenesis Imperfecta. It means imperfect bone formation.

Brittle Bone Disease is more than imperfect bone formation

Not only is the tissue in the bone different than normal, but it also affects other parts of the body, for example, loose joints and/or brittle teeth. The bone structure is not strong enough and therefore the bones are fragile. Brittle Bone Disease is based on an abnormality in the collagen, the main component of any tissue in the human body. Usually there is too little collagen, sometimes the collagen that is present in the body is of insufficient quality. It is a hereditary disease (spontaneously developed or transmitted).

Brittle Bone Disease belongs to Rare Diseases

Brittle Bone Disease belongs to the rare diseases.

  • 1 in 15,000 to 20,000 people have Brittle Bone Disease.
  • Ca. 25,000 - 50,000 Americans are born with Brittle Bone Disease.
  • In Germany there are about 4,000-6,000 people with Brittle Bone Disease, in the Netherlands about 800 - 1,200. The range is so wide that many with mild Brittle Bones/OI often go undiagnosed.
  • About 500,000 people worldwide have Brittle Bone Disease.


ALS (Rare muscle/nerve disease. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and Cystic Fibrosis:

  • There are roughly as many people with these diseases than people who have Brittle Bone Disease.

Breast Cancer:

  • In comparison to breast cancer, Brittle Bone Disease is much rarer. 1 in 9 woman gets breast cancer. Only 1 in 15,000 people has Brittle Bone Disease.