Osteoporosis: Risk Factors and Checklist
November is Osteoporosis Month
Osteoporosis is a bone disease typified by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue (bones become weak and brittle), leading to a higher risk of broken bones (fractures). Osteoporosis Canada says that fractures from osteoporosis are more common than incidences of heart attacks, strokes, and breast cancer combined. The increased fragility of bones because of osteoporosis most commonly results in fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Over 80% of all fractures in people age 50+ are caused by osteoporosis, so fall prevention is an important safety consideration for people age 50+ and seniors.
(Photo: Osteoporosis Canada)
Why is fall prevention and the risk of a hip fracture so important? Because 28% of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
Risk Factors For Osteoporosis
- Aging – Women and men of all races begin to lose bone starting in their mid-30s.
- Sex – Women approaching menopause lose bone at a greater rate, from 2-3 per cent per year. 1 in 3 women will suffer a broken bone from osteoporosis in their lifetime. The Mayo Clinic indicates that white and Asian women are at an increased risk. Although this puts women at greater risk, at least 1 in 5 men will break a bone from osteoporosis.
- Personal History – History of vertebral compression fracture.
- Fragility fractures after age 40.
- Genetics – If either parent has had a hip fracture.
- Other – >3 months use of glucocorticoid drugs; medical conditions that inhibit absorption of nutrients; other medical conditions or medications that contribute to bone loss.
Are you at risk of osteoporosis? Consult this handy checklist/questionnaire from Osteoporosis Canada.
Consult your doctor if you have symptoms of, or are concerned about, osteoporosis.