Osteoporosis Risk Factors

[Revised August 2000]

Charles Booras M.D.

by Charles H. Booras, MD

  • Complications of osteoporosis are the leading cause of a post-menopausal woman losing her independence.
  • Osteoporosis causes over 1.3 million fractures annually, more than 500,000 vertebral fractures, 250,000 hip fractures, and 240,000 wrist fractures.
  • The direct medical costs of osteoporosis in the U.S. exceed $10 billion annually.
  • An estimated that at age 50, a woman has a 40% chance of experiencing an osteoporotic
    fracture at some point during her lifetime.
  • A woman's risk of hip fracture alone is equal to the combined risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.
  • Up to 20% of women who suffer hip fractures die within one year of the fracture.
  • Osteoporosis occurs significantly more frequently in women. (Four out of every five cases are women.
  • The effects of spinal osteoporosis can include height loss, back pain, rib pain, abdominal pain, and respiratory problems.
  • Women who are postmenopausal are at risk for osteoporosis. The presence of any one of these factors can add to your risk:


Consider printing this sheet, checking off all your risk factors
and discussing them with your personal physician.

____ Age

____ Smoking

____ Caucasian or Asian descent

____ Alcohol abuse

____ Thin or small build

____ Inactive lifestyle

____ Previous fracture

____ Inadequate calcium intake

____ Family history of osteoporosis

____ Certain medications (Including steroids and thyroid hormones)

____ Early menopause (before age 45)

NOTE: You may have none of these risk factors and still be at risk of developing osteoporosis. Some authorities believe that the presence of any of these factors increases the risk of osteoporosis. However, even If you have none of these factors, you may still have osteoporosis. Only a bone density test can provide the information your doctor needs to help make a diagnosis.

For more Osteoporosis articles, Visit Women's Health

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