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Osteoporosis Risk in Younger Women

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During childhood and teen years, new bone grows faster than existing bone is absorbed by the body. After age 30, this process begins to reverse. As a natural part of aging, bone dissolves and is absorbed faster than new bone is made, and bones become thinner. You are more likely to have osteoporosis if you did not reach your ideal bone thickness (bone density) during your childhood and teenage years.

In women, bone loss increases around menopause, when ovaries produce less estrogen, a hormone that protects against bone loss. Younger women, especially in their 30s and 40s, are at lower risk for osteoporosis than older women. But your risk increases if you:

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For many people, hearing "You have osteoporosis" is startling. Some hear it in the hospital after breaking a hip. Others get the news after getting a bone density test. Osteoporosis is most common in women after menopause, people with osteoporosis in their family, and people with a small frame. But others can also get it, raising their risk of bone fractures. Cutting that risk is crucial. About half of women and a quarter of men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture, notes...

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  • Have already gone through menopause. Most women go through menopause starting in their 50s, but some women go through this change earlier.
  • Smoke.
  • Do not get regular weight-bearing exercise.
  • Do not get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
  • Take corticosteroids or other medicines that may thin your bones.
  • Have more than about 1 alcoholic drink a day.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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