Having a family history of osteoporosis. If your mother, father, or a sibling has been diagnosed
with osteoporosis or has had broken bones from a minor injury, you are
more likely to get osteoporosis.
Completing menopause. Estrogen protects women from bone loss, and estrogen
levels drop after menopause. Women whose ovaries aren't working properly or have been removed also are at risk because of lower estrogen
Smoking. People who smoke lose bone
thickness faster than nonsmokers.
Heavy alcohol use can decrease bone formation, and it
increases the risk of falling. Heavy alcohol use is more than 2 standard drinks
a day for men and more than 1 drink a day for women.
Getting little or no exercise. Weight-bearing
exercises include walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, and lifting
weights. They keep bones strong and healthy by working the muscles and bones against
gravity. Exercise may improve your balance and decrease your risk of
Being a female athlete
if you have few or irregular
menstrual cycles due to low body fat.
Find out your fracture risk
The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a tool called FRAX. Your doctors might use the FRAX tool to help predict your risk of having a fracture related to osteoporosis in the next 10 years. You can use this tool too. Go to the website at www.sheffield.ac.uk/FRAX, and click on Calculation Tool. If you have had a bone density test on your hip, you can enter your score. If you haven't had that test, you can leave the score blank.