What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Risk factors for osteoporosis, such as advanced age and reduced bone mineral density (BMD), have been established by virtue of their direct and strong relationship to the incidence of fractures; however, many other factors have been considered risk factors based on their relationship to BMD as a surrogate indicator of osteoporosis.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include the following [62, 63, 64] :

  • Advanced age (≥50 years)
  • Female sex
  • White or Asian ethnicity
  • Genetic factors, such as a family history of osteoporosis
  • Thin build or small stature (eg, bodyweight less than 127 lb [57.6 kg])
  • Amenorrhea
  • Late menarche
  • Early menopause
  • Postmenopausal state
  • Physical inactivity or immobilization [65]
  • Use of certain drugs (eg, anticonvulsants, systemic steroids, thyroid supplements, heparin, chemotherapeutic agents, insulin)
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Androgen [66] or estrogen deficiency
  • Calcium or vitamin D deficiency
  • Dowager hump

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!