What are risk factors of deteriorating bone health?

There are some risk factors of deteriorating bone health that you can change and some that you cannot change, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

According to the NIH, risk factors that you cannot change include:

  • Age – As you age, you are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis – a disease in which your bones become less dense and can break more easily.
  • Body size – If you have a small build with thin bones, you are at greater risk.
  • Ethnicity – Asian and Caucasian women are at the highest risk, while African American and Hispanic women have a lower but still significant risk.
  • Family history – If your parents have a history of reduced bone mass and fractures, your risk is greater to follow in their footsteps.
  • Gender – Women have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis.

Risk factors you can change, according to the NIH, include:

  • Active lifestyle – Being inactive can weaken bones, however, overtraining to the point that you are burning far more calories than your body takes in can be harmful to your bone health.
  • Alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol excessively can increase your risk of bone loss and fractures.
  • Anorexia nervosa – This eating disorder includes an irrational fear of weight gain and can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Calcium and vitamin D – Making sure you have a diet rich in these – especially when you are younger and can strengthen your bones – will improve bone health.
  • Cigarette smoking – Quitting is the best option because smoking is bad for your bones.
  • Medication – Using some kinds of medications including glucocorticoids and some anticonvulsants over a long period of time can lead to loss of bone density.
  • Sex hormones – An abnormal absence of menstrual periods and low estrogen levels in women can lead to osteoporosis.

Taking positive steps to improve the risk factors that you can change is your best defense against deteriorating bone health.

Talk with your doctor for more information about risk factors of deteriorating bone health.

Learn more: