Osteoporosis

Frequently Asked Questions

4. What are osteoporosis risk factors that cannot be changed?

Some risk factors for osteoporosis cannot be changed. These include

  • Gender. Women are at higher risk for osteoporosis than men. They have smaller bones and lose bone more rapidly than men do because of hormone changes that occur after menopause. Therefore, if you are a woman, you are at higher risk for osteoporosis.
  • Age. Because bones become thinner with age, the older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Ethnicity. Caucasian and Asian women are at the highest risk for osteoporosis. This is mainly due to differences in bone mass and density compared with other ethnic groups. African-American and Hispanic women are also at risk, but less so.
  • Family History. Osteoporosis tends to run in families. If a family member has osteoporosis or breaks a bone, there is a greater chance that you will too.
  • History of Previous Fracture. People who have had a fracture after the age of 50 are at high risk of having another.