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Understanding Your Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Jan 10, 2024
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Osteoporosis affects millions of Americans, dramatically increasing their risk of serious bone fractures. Knowing your risk factors helps you take steps to reduce bone loss and prevent injuries. Here’s what to look for.

More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, a chronic condition marked by low bone density and an increased risk of fractures, particularly in the legs and spine. Another 44 million Americans have low bone density, which means they’re at increased risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.

Osteoporosis is more common among older people, but age is just one risk factor that contributes to the disease. Knowing your other risk factors can help you take steps to lower your likelihood of developing osteoporosis and reduce your risk of debilitating fractures.

At Health Meets Wellness, our team offers an array of screenings and therapies tailored to the unique challenges of aging, including diagnostic testing to measure your bone density and assess other osteoporosis risk factors. 

In this post, learn the basics about osteoporosis and its most common risk factors.

Osteoporosis risk factors

Most people know osteoporosis becomes more common with age but are not as familiar with other risk factors.


Women are significantly more likely to develop osteoporosis compared with men. That’s likely due to the decline in estrogen and progesterone during menopause. Lower levels of these hormones affect bone density, leading to osteoporosis.


Estrogen and progesterone aren’t the only hormones involved in bone loss and osteoporosis. Fluctuations in hormones produced by the thyroid and adrenal glands can also influence bone density. Low testosterone levels can also contribute to bone loss in men.

Family history

If you have a parent or a sibling with osteoporosis, you’re also more likely to develop the condition. That risk is elevated in people with a mom or dad who’s had a hip fracture.

Body frame size

Small body frames are associated with slimmer bones, which means lower bone mass. You're more likely to develop osteoporosis if you have a small body frame. 

Diet-related issues

Everyone knows calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health. Your risk of developing osteoporosis increases if you have dietary deficiencies in these nutrients. The same is true of people with certain eating disorders and those who’ve had weight-loss surgery that lowers the absorption of these nutrients.

Tobacco and alcohol use

Tobacco use contributes to weak bone structure and increased fracture use. Alcohol can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb minerals necessary for bone growth and repair.

Sedentary lifestyle

Your bones need regular physical activity to support the bone replacement cycle and improve bone density. Weight-bearing exercises, like walking, climbing stairs, dancing, or lifting weights, are especially beneficial. Our strength-training program is great for helping you be more active while strengthening your bones.


Long-term use of corticosteroid medicines can weaken bones and lead to osteoporosis. Other medications can also increase your risk, including drugs used to treat acid reflux, cancer, and seizures.

Underlying health conditions

Osteoporosis is also more common among people with specific underlying health conditions, including kidney or liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, some gastrointestinal disorders, and certain types of cancer.

Slowing bone loss

Our Health Meets Wellness team specializes in tailoring health and wellness programs to meet the individual needs of each patient. 

If you think you might be at risk of osteoporosis or want to learn how we can help you maintain bone health as you age, call 934-203-8941 or request an appointment online with the team at Health Meets Wellness in the Midtown East neighborhood of New York City today.