Osteoporosis Risk Factors
Bone loss is often gradual and painless with no visible symptoms, making osteoporosis difficult to detect. As a result, doctors recommend diagnostic testing to those who are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
There are two types of risk. Risks you can control and risks you can’t control. If you learn that you are at risk for osteoporosis, it is important to speak to your doctor about a Bone Mineral Density Test.
Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis. This can be attributed in part to reduced bone mineral density as we age. Both women and men begin losing bone in their mid-30s, placing them at higher risk for fracture.
Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men. As women approach menopause they begin to lose bone at a greater rate of 2-3 per cent per year.
Ethnicity is another one of the risk factors for osteoporosis. Some ethnicities are more prone to osteoporosis than others. For example, osteoporosis is more common in Caucasian and Asian populations.
A previous fracture raises the risk of a future fracture by 86%, compared to people who have not had a prior fracture.
People who consume more than 2 units of alcohol per day have an approximately 40% increased risk of osteoporotic fracture, compared to those who drink less or consume no alcohol whatsoever.
People who smoke cigarettes are at a heightened risk of any fracture, compared to non-smokers.
Vitamin D & Calcium Deficiency
Vitamin D by itself and in combination with calcium lowers the risk of falling in older men and women. Studies have shown that use of vitamin D supplements among healthy older women reduced bone loss over periods of 1-2 years.
Ninety percent of hip fractures are caused by falls. The risk of falling is significantly increased by factors like visual impairments, alzheimer’s disease, joint disease, poor postural control, and more.