What are the modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors for osteoporosis identified by the NOF?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Multiple risk factors exist for osteoporosis. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) has categorized these risk factors into two categories: nonmodifiable and modifiable. Nonmodifiable risk factors include the following:

  • Personal history of fracture as an adult
  • History of fracture in a first-degree relative
  • White race
  • Advanced age
  • Female sex
  • Dementia
  • Poor health or fragility

Potentially modifiable risk factors include the following:

  • Current cigarette smoking
  • Low body weight (< 127 lb)
  • Estrogen deficiency such as that caused by early menopause (age < 45 years) or bilateral ovariectomy and prolonged premenopausal amenorrhea (>1 year)
  • Low lifelong calcium intake
  • Alcoholism [74]
  • Impaired eyesight despite adequate correction
  • Recurrent falls
  • Inadequate physical activity
  • Poor health or frailty

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