First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Osteoporosis Risk Factors
The risk of getting osteoporosis increases with age as bones naturally become thinner. After age 30, the rate at which your bone tissue dissolves and is absorbed by the body slowly increases, while the rate of bone building decreases. So overall you lose a small amount of bone each year after age 30.
In women, bone loss is more rapid and usually begins after monthly menstrual periods stop, when a woman's production of the hormone estrogen slows down (usually between the ages of 45 and 55). A man's bone thinning typically starts to develop gradually when his production of the hormone testosterone slows down, at about 45 to 50 years of age. Women typically have smaller and lighter bones than men. As a result, women develop osteoporosis far more often than men. Osteoporosis usually does not have a noticeable effect on people until they are 60 or older.
Whether a person develops osteoporosis depends on the thickness of the bones (bone density) in early life, as well as health, diet, and physical activity later in life. Factors that increase the risk for osteoporosis in both men and women include:
Other risk factors for osteoporosis may include:
Women who have completed menopause have the greatest risk for osteoporosis because their levels of the estrogen hormone drop. Estrogen protects women from bone loss. Likewise, women who no longer have menstrual periods—either because their ovaries are not working properly or because their ovaries have been surgically removed—also can have lower estrogen levels.
Current as of: November 7, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Current as of:
November 7, 2018
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
901 Ridgefield Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
1505 SW Cary Parkway
Cary, NC 27511
555 Medical Park Place
Clayton, NC 27520
6602 Knightdale Blvd.
Knightdale, NC 27545
8305 Falls of Neuse Road
Raleigh, NC 27615
UNC REX Healthcare4420 Lake Boone TrailRaleigh, NC 27607, USA919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
UNC Health Talk
Copyright 2020 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.