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Osteoporosis: What is it, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis and More | Singapore General Hospital

Osteoporosis - Causes and Risk Factors

Risk factors can be divided into those that can be changed and others that cannot.

Risk factors that cannot be changed

  • Age - The risk for osteoporosis increases as one gets older
  • A woman who has gone through menopause - After menopause, the body produces less estrogen, estrogen protects the body from bone loss
  • Family history of osteoporosis or osteoporosis-related fractures
  • Slender body frame (small bone structure)
  • Race - A person of Caucasian or Asian ancestry is more at risk
  • Low bone mass or osteopenia
  • Previous fracture following a low level trauma, especially after age 50

Risk factors that can be changed

  • Smoking - Don’t smoke as smoking causes bone loss and early menopause
  • Excessive alcohol consumption -Excessive amounts of alcohol not only reduce bone formation, it also affects the body’s ability to absorb calcium
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Other causes of osteoporosis

  • Medications: Using some medications long term can damage bone. These include corticosteroids to treat chronic conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis etc, medications that lower sex hormones, some anti-seizure medications and sometimes thyroid hormone when prescribed in high doses. Talk with your health care provider about the medications you take
  • Other causes: Various conditions can interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. These include liver or kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), Cushing’s disease (in which the body produces excess cortisol) and conditions like anorexia nervosa

Osteoporosis - Preparing for surgery

Osteoporosis - Post-surgery care

Osteoporosis - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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