You may wonder whether you are at risk of developing osteoporosis. It is estimated that 15% of people over the age of 50 years suffer from osteoporosis and by the age of 75 it goes up to 50%. Age is one of the most significant risk factures and gender and lifestyle choices can determine an individual’s bone health. The prevalence among women is higher due to their thinner and smaller bone structure. Also oestrogen has a protective effect on the bones, therefore the hormonal changes brought on by the menopause can make women more vulnerable to develop osteoporosis.
Lifestyle factors including lack of exercise, insufficient calcium in the diet, smoking and high alcohol consumption increase the risk of developing osteoporosis in later life.
If you have one or more of the following factors present contact the Better Bones team to assess your risk.
- Low body weight
- Early menopause (before the age of 45)
- Previous fracture
- Parental hip fracture
- Current smoking
- Glucocorticoids (certain type of steroids)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- More than two units of alcohol a day (one medium glass of wine (175ml) is 2units).
If you are taking certain types of steroids (corticosteroids) or have undergone treatment for breast cancer, it is worth having a chat with your doctor to see if you are at risk.