Risk Factors for Osteoporosis: Prevalence, Change, and Association With Bone Density

Janet R. Guthrie, MSc, Dip Ed, PhD, Peter R. Ebeling, MB BS, MD, FRACP, Lorraine Dennerstein, AO, MB BS, PhD, FRANZP, DPM, John D. Wark, MB BS, PhD, FRACP

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Conclusion

The decline in estrogen levels that occurs during the menopausal transition is probably the main risk factor for osteoporosis experienced by this cohort. However, although our cohort appears to be physically active and have a variable calcium intake, these variables were not shown to have an impact on BMD changes around the menopause. Further research is needed to design a physical activity program that can maintain BMD or reduce bone loss and thus decrease the risk of osteoporosis in peri- and postmenopausal women. This program needs to include activities that are easy to implement and inexpensive. Other areas of research that warrant investigation are whether a dietary intake of calcium of more than 1500 mg/day would be protective against bone loss in an Australian-born population and whether a diet high in phytoestrogens has a role in reducing menopausal bone loss.

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