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Your risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering a broken bone is linked to your:
Family history – if one of your parents has broken a hip, you are more likely to have a fracture yourself.
Age – osteoporosis becomes more likely, the older you are. It affects around 50% of people over the age of 75. Over the age of 50, one in two women and one in five men will break a bone, mainly due to poor bone health arising from osteoporosis.
Gender – osteoporosis is found in men but is more common in women. Women have smaller bones and also experience the menopause. Hormone changes associated with the menopause directly affect bone density. A woman’s risk also increases if she has an early menopause or a hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries before the age of 45.
Anorexia nervosa – this is characterised by low body weight, low levels of oestrogen and often a diet lacking the calcium needed to build strong bones.
Certain medical conditions and their treatment:
Lifestyle risk factors include:
Although your genes play a major role in deciding the strength of your bones, taking steps to build up your bones before your mid 20s, means you’ll maximise the strength of your bones and so be better protected against osteoporosis and fractures later on.
This is an important message for young people but you need to take action throughout your life to help keep your bones strong. Try to make sure you:
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