Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
Fixed risk factors are responsible for an individual’s vulnerability to osteoporosis. Unlike adaptable risks, they are factors that aren’t adjustable, including family history, age, and gender. People might also experience secondary factors that increase their chances of developing osteoporosis. Such aspects include medications and disorders that deteriorate the bone strength and interfere with balance.
Low bone density is an important indicator that an individual is at a higher risk of fractures. Though most of the risk factors associated with osteoporosis can’t be altered, people need to be informed of these risks in order for them to take appropriate corrective measures to suppress bone mineral loss with immediate effect.
Most osteoporosis cases occur in people who are above 50 years of age. This is a result of decreased bone mineral density that comes with aging.
However, age can sometimes occur as an independent factor of mineral density. This implies that even old people with healthy mineral density are highly susceptible to bone loss as compared to young people.
Women, especially those undergoing menopause are more likely to develop bone loss than the males since their bodies release liberal amounts of estrogen. This hormone plays an important role in bone formation. The females have a greater potential to sustain osteoporosis and other related fractures than men.
Long parental history of bone fractures is linked to a higher risk of fracture that’s autonomous to bone mineral density.
Research indicates that osteoporosis is very common among Asians and Caucasians, and the occurrence of fractures is lower among the blacks as compared to the white people.
Previous fractures increase the chances of more fractures. People who have encountered fractures in their early lives are more likely to develop more fissures.
Menopause or Hysterectomy
If the hysterectomy is accompanied by the removal of both ovaries, it could increase the chances of developing osteoporosis due to the loss of estrogen.
Postmenopausal women, as well as those whose ovaries were removed, should be keen with their bone health.
Diseases affecting the endocrine system are more susceptible to severe bone loss. Hyperparathyroidism, for instance, leads to heightened levels of parathyroid hormones, which triggers cells to release more calcium from the bones into the blood.
Hypogonadism in Men
Just like the estrogen insufficiency in women, androgen deficiency amongst the men can elevate the risk of fracture. Hypogonadism resulting from prostate cancer facilitates the occurrence of bone loss just like menopause does to aging women. This kind of bone loss manifests more rapidly and then regresses to the gradual loss that often accompanies aging.
Secondary risk factors aren’t very common but they could have a significant influence on the bone health incidences. These factors include underlying diseases, which directly or indirectly interfere with bone remodeling: a general body imbalance that can heavily contribute to falling and sustenance of fractures.
Diseases that affect the bones include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Nutritional or intestinal problems
- Hypogonadal disorders
- Certain inherited disorders
- Endocrine diseases like diabetes, Cushing’s Syndrome and hyperparathyroidism
- Hematological diseases or malignancies
Some medications might have side effects that tend to weaken the bone while increasing the risk of fractures due to increased falls or trauma. People taking thyroid hormone treatments, glucocorticosteroids, aromatase inhibitors, and certain immunosuppressants must consider talking to their doctors about the risks they pose to bone health.