What is the role of aging in age the pathogenesis of osteoporosis?

Updated: Sep 26, 2019
  • Author: Monique Bethel, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

In contrast to postmenopausal bone loss, which is associated with excessive osteoclast activity, the bone loss that accompanies aging is associated with a progressive decline in the supply of osteoblasts in proportion to the demand. This demand is ultimately determined by the frequency with which new multicellular units are created and new cycles of remodeling are initiated.

After the third decade of life, bone resorption exceeds bone formation and leads to osteopenia and, in severe situations, osteoporosis. Women lose 30-40% of their cortical bone and 50% of their trabecular bone over their lifetime, as opposed to men, who lose 15-20% of their cortical bone and 25-30% of trabecular bone.


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