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Risk Factors of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans over the age of 50. Women are 4 times more likely to get osteoporosis than men.

Another 34 million Americans over the age of 50 have low bone mass (osteopenia). This group is at a greater risk for osteoporosis.

Low estrogen is one of the main causes of bone loss in women during and after menopause. Women may lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the 5 to 7 years after menopause.

The exact cause for osteoporosis is unknown. But, a number of factors contribute to the disease including:
  • aging - bones become less dense and weaker with age.
  • race -  Caucasian and Asian women are most at risk, but all races may get the disease
  • body weight - people who weigh less and have less muscle are more at risk for this condition
  • lifestyle factors - these lifestyle factors may increase the risk of osteoporosis:
    • lack of  physical activity
    • caffeine use
    • excessive alcohol use
    • smoking
    • dietary calcium and vitamin D deficiency
  • certain medications
  • family history of bone disease