Who is affected by osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is common in Australia. Women and men can be affected, with up to 25% of cases in men. People 50 years and over are mostly at risk however osteoporosis can occur in younger people, depending on risk factors.
Common Risk Factors
Poor bone health can be heredity. Check if anyone in your family (particularly parents or siblings) have ever been diagnosed with osteoporosis. This includes parents or siblings who have experienced a broken bone (from a minor fall) or rapidly lost height, as this can indicate being at risk of osteoporosis.
Calcium and vitamin D
Low calcium intake: Adults require 1,000 mg per day (preferably through diet) increasing to 1,300 mg per day for women over 50 and men over 70 years.
Low vitamin D levels: Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium. Lack of sun exposure can lead to low vitamin D levels. People at risk of vitamin D deficiency should be investigated.
Conditions and medications which can impact bone health:
- Breaking a bone from a minor bump or fall should be investigated in anyone 50 years +
- Low hormone levels – early menopause in women or low testosterone in men
- Coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and other malabsorption disorders
- Certain breast cancer treatment or prostate cancer
- Anorexia nervosa
- Corticosteroids – commonly used for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions
- Thyroid conditions – overactive thyroid or parathyroid
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Certain epilepsy, antidepressant or HIV treatment
- Low levels of physical activity
- Excessive alcohol intake
Body build and weight
- Thin body build can increase your risk
- Obesity, studies suggest hormone changes associated with obesity can impact bones
Know Your Bones Ambassador