Risk Factors

What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis and Osteopenia risk factors outside your control include the following:

  • Gender: Women –are more likely than men to develop the condition. This is because women have smaller bones, and changes in hormone levels, especially following menopause cause bone loss, with some women losing excessive amounts of bone at this time.
  • Age: The risk of developing osteoporosis increases as you get older.
  • Ethnic background: You are at greater risk if you are Caucasian or Asian.
  • Family history: If there is a history of osteoporosis in your family, then your risk of developing it is usually much higher. This is especially so, if your mother or father has suffered a broken hip (fractured hip) from a trip and fall or less.
  • Body frame: Having a small-boned body frame, that is not due to an eating disorder, constant dieting, over exercising or combinations of the them.
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The following osteoporosis risk factors relate to your lifestyle

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Physical activity: If you spend most of your day sitting, then you have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than those who are physically active.


Smoking: Not only is smoking bad for your general health but it is also known to contribute to weaker bones negatively affect bone health.


Excess alcohol: Regularly consuming more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases your chances of developing osteoporosis.


Diet: Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. If you are not getting the daily recommended amounts, then you may be at increased risk of breaking bones.


Excess caffeine affects bone health


Excess Fibre: we recommend not to take more than 30 grams of fibre a day.


Eating disorders/ Over exercising or both; Please reach out for help as the secondary affects causes significant bone loss, as well as affecting your overall health and fertility. Loss of periods are common with these issues.


Vegan we recommend people eat a variety of foods, not limit themselves to certain foods, especially when it can place a person at risk of bone loss. All vegans should get a DXA scan done and monitor their bone health throughout their life.

Furthermore, certain medical conditions and medications affect your bone health.

  • Long-term use of steroids (commonly used in conditions such as arthritis and asthma).
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation cause significant bone loss and all cancer patients should be treated preventatively
  • Having an overactive thyroid or overactive parathyroid gland.
  • Early menopause (before 45) and those who go through the menopause after age 45
  • Loss of periods not due to pregnancy
  • Conditions such as Coeliac disease or Crohn’s disease affect the absorption of nutrients.
  • Some medicines used in the treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and epilepsy, such as Protein pump medication for acid reflux.