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Who's Most at Risk for Osteoarthritis?

Who's Most at Risk for Osteoarthritis?

Osteoporosis can be a dangerous disease because there are few outward signs of it. Unfortunately, sometimes people only find out they have osteoporosis after breaking a bone in a fall. 

Osteoporosis affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States, and certain people are more likely to develop osteoporosis than others. It’s important to know the risk factors that can increase your chance of developing osteoporosis.

At aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics, Brian K. Rich, MD, provides comprehensive care for a full spectrum of conditions that affect your bones, including injuries from osteoporosis

Learn about some of the factors that increase your risk of osteoporosis. 

Women more at risk, especially after menopause

Bone loss is a serious concern for women, as they’re four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. Estrogen has a hand in keeping your bones strong. Due to menopause, estrogen levels drop, so women lose bone more quickly, increasing their risk of developing weak bones. 

If you experience early menopause (before age 45) or have a hysterectomy (especially if your ovaries are also removed), you’re also at a higher risk for bone loss.

Your risk increases as you age

As we age, we lose bone gradually, which can lead to osteoporosis, so your risk of developing the condition goes up with age. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent bone loss, such as doing weight-bearing exercise and getting enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet. 

By building and strengthening your bones in your teens and 20s, you can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis-related fractures in the future. If you’re in your 20s, or even in your 30s or beyond, take the opportunity to get plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and weight-bearing exercise.. 

Certain medical conditions boost osteoporosis risk 

There are a number of chronic medical conditions that can increase your risk for osteoporosis. Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and Crohn's disease can all lead to a higher chance of developing osteoporosis. 

Additionally, medications taken for chronic conditions like seizures, lung disease, and others can also increase your risk. If you have a chronic medical condition, be sure to talk to your primary care provider about getting screened for osteoporosis.

Certain genes make you vulnerable to osteoporosis

The peak bone mass is usually reached around the ages of 18 to 25. This is largely determined by the genes that a person inherits. Regulation of vitamin D is mostly controlled by genetic variables, so people with certain genetic variants that influence vitamin D and bone growth may be more at risk for developing osteoporosis.

Additionally, having a personal of family history of broken bones or fragility fractures in adulthood (past age 45) can indicate an increased risk of osteoporosis.

If you have weak bones, your bones can break from doing everyday activities, such as bending over to pick up an item. If you have or are at risk of weak bones, we work closely with you and the rest of your health care team to keep your bones as strong as possible. 

To get started, give our team a call or book online to schedule a visit with Dr. Rich at one of our clinics in Southlake, Texas, or Lawton, Oklahoma.

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