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Osteoporosis Risk Factors

Osteoporosis, or ‘porous bone’, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men, as well as women, are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and treated. Below are the certain risk factors that can and can not be changed per National Institutes of Health.

Risk factors you can NOT change:

  • Sex. Woman are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Women have less bone tissue and lose bone faster than men due to menopausal changes.
  • Age. As we get older, we are at greater risk since our bones become weaker and thinner.
  • Body size. Small, thin-boned women (weight under 127 pounds) are at greater risk.
  • Ethnicity. White and Asian women are at most risk.
  • Family history. People whose parents have a history of fractures also seem to have reduced bone mass and may be at risk for fractures.
  • Risk factors you can change:
  • Sex hormones. Abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea), low estrogen level, abnormal absence of menstrual periods and low testosterone level in men can bring on osteoporosis.
  • Anorexia nervosa. An eating disorder in which people have an intense fear of gaining weight and can become dangerously thin can increase risk for osteoporosis.
  • Diet. Excess consumption of protein, sodium, and caffeine can lead to bone loss.
  • Lack of Calcium and vitamin D intake. A lifetime diet low in calcium and vitamin D can make you more prone to bone loss.
  • Medication use. Long-term use of certain medications, (such as glucocorticoids anticonvulsants, antacids with aluminum, excess thyroid extract) can lead to loss of bone density and fractures.
  • Lifestyle. Having an inactive lifestyle or extended bed rest tends to weaken bones.
  • Cigarette smoking. Smoking increases risk for bad bones.
  • Alcohol intake. Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of bone loss and fractures.

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