How does the incidence of osteoporosis differ among age groups?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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The risk for osteoporosis increases with age as BMD declines. Senile osteoporosis is most common in persons aged 70 years or older. Secondary osteoporosis, however, can occur in persons of any age. Although bone loss in women begins slowly, it speeds up around the time of menopause, typically at about age 50 years or later. The frequency of postmenopausal osteoporosis is highest in women aged 50-70 years.

The number of osteoporotic fractures increases with age. Wrist fractures typically occur first, when individuals are aged approximately 50-59 years.

Vertebral fractures occur more often in the seventh decade of life. Jensen et al studied Danish women aged 70 years and found a 21% prevalence of vertebral fractures. [71] Melton et al reported that 27% of women in their study had evidence of vertebral fractures by age 65 years. [72]

Ninety percent of hip fractures occur in persons aged 50 years or older, occurring most often in the eighth decade of life. [73]

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