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Osteoporosis Risk Factors

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Woman considering risk factorsAm I at risk for osteoporosis?

During your first 25–30 years of life, your bones are hard at work building themselves up. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet and getting plenty of exercise help with this process. It is important that they gain as much strength as possible before they plateau around the age of 30. After menopause, your bone density can start to decrease at a much faster rate due to lack of estrogen. For some women, this bone loss will become osteopenia, and then possibly osteoporosis.

Two major factors that affect your chances of getting osteoporosis are:
1. How dense your bones are when you reach menopause.

Many women never reach their peak bone mass by age 30 because of lack of exercise, too much exercise, smoking, poor diet, lack of vitamin D, or eating disorders.

2. How fast you lose bone density after you reach menopause.

Bone mass is maintained, in part, by the hormones naturally produced in your body: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. At perimenopause, the collagen matrix that forms the foundation of healthy bone could start to weaken, especially when bone density is already low.
Race, bone structure, and family history also play a role in your bone density, for example:
  • Research shows that Caucasian and Asian women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than other subgroups.

  • Caucasian women are more likely to have hip fractures, but African American women are more likely to die after a hip fracture.

  • Small-framed women have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis because they have less bone to lose than those with larger frames.

  • If your mother or grandmother have had any signs of osteoporosis, you may be at greater risk.

If you have had a fracture, or you are under 65 and have had more than one risk factor, now would be a good time to talk to your doctor about testing, preventing, and/or treating if necessary.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-28-2015 - 03:54 PM


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