Osteoporosis Risk Factors
Things that increase your risk for osteoporosis include:
- Your age. Bones naturally become thinner as you get older.
- Having gone through menopause. After menopause, the body makes less estrogen. This hormone protects the body from bone loss.
- Having a lower-than-normal testosterone level.
- Having a family history of osteoporosis. If a parent or sibling was diagnosed with osteoporosis or had broken bones from a minor injury, you are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
- Taking corticosteroids or certain other medicines. Some medicines can cause bone thinning.
- Being inactive due to being in a bed, wheelchair, or other type of chair for long periods of time.
- Having a slender body frame. People with small body frames are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
- Having certain medical conditions. Some medical conditions, such as hyperparathyroidism or an eating disorder, can increase your risk for osteoporosis.
- Having certain surgeries, such as having your ovaries removed before menopause.
Lifestyle factors that increase your risk include:
- Drinking too much alcohol. This can decrease bone formation.
- Smoking. People who smoke may lose bone density faster than nonsmokers.
- Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium helps keep your bones strong. And to absorb calcium, your body needs vitamin D.
- Getting little or no exercise. Bone-building exercises like walking, jogging, dancing, or lifting weights help keep bones strong.
Current as of: July 11, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board: All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.