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Health Issues

Osteoporosis

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Many factors will increase your risk of developing osteoporosis and sufferinga fracture. Some of these risk factors can be changed, while others cannot.Recognizing your own risk factors is important so that you can take stepsto prevent this condition from developing or treat it before it becomesworse. Major risk factors include:

  • Sex. Fractures from osteoporosis are about twice as common in women as they are in men.
  • Age (starting in the mid-30s but accelerating after 50)
  • Race. You're at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're white or of Southeast Asian descent. Black and Hispanic men and women have a lower but still significant risk.
  • Frame size. People who are exceptionally thin or have small body frames are at higher risk because they often have reserved less bone mass to draw from as they age.
  • Family history of osteoporosis or osteoporosis-related fracture in a parent or sibling
  • Previous fracture following a low-level trauma, especially after age 50
  • Sex hormone deficiency, particularly estrogen deficiency, both in women (e.g. menopause) and men
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Low dietary intake or absorption of calcium and vitamin D
  • Sedentary lifestyle or immobility
  • Certain diseases can affect bone, such as endocrine disorders (hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing's disease, etc.) and inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.)