What are the Risks of Osteoporosis in Women

Updated at: Jul 08, 2014
What are the Risks of Osteoporosis in Women

Being a female puts you at a risk of developing osteoporosis. Learn other controllable and uncontrollable risk factors that can give you broken bones.

Ariba Khaliq
Women's HealthWritten by: Ariba KhaliqPublished at: Feb 18, 2012

Combine the risk of developing breast, ovarian and uterine cancer in a female; it equals to her lone risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis. A variety of controllable and uncontrollable factors can put a woman at a risk of developing osteoporosis. The first one being- you are a woman.

Facts about Osteoporosis in Women


  • Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
  • Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
  • A woman's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
  • If you think you don’t need to worry about frail bones until you are older, you are wrong. Women of all ages must take steps to keep their bones strong. Millions of women already have or are at a risk of osteoporosis. So, do what you can to keep your bones as strong as they can be.


Controllable Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

A broken bone can really affect your life. It can cause severe pain and disability. Your daily tasks like walking can become harder to do. There are certain controllable triggers that can accelerate bone mass loss and cause osteoporosis.

  • Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine.
  • Having an inactive lifestyle.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Losing weight.

Risks of Osteoporosis in Women

Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

While the abovementioned factors can be checked, there are certain things you can’t help that can give you osteoporosis.

  • Being female
  • Getting older
  • Menopause
  • Having a small, thin body (under 127 pounds)
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis
  • Being white or Asian, but African American women and Latinas are also at risk
  • Not getting your period (if you should be getting it)
  • Having a disorder that increases your risk of getting osteoporosis, (such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, premature menopause, anorexia nervosa)
  • Not getting enough exercise


Long-term use of certain medicines

No matter how old you are, it is never too late to work on building strong bones. However, as you age, it becomes difficult for your bones to make new bones fast enough to compete with the bone loss.  Plus, bone loss process speeds up after menopause.

In order to prevent their bones from becoming weak and brittle, women must get enough calcium each day. Daily calcium requirement for an adult woman is 1000 mg per day. 600 IU per day of vitamin D intake is also essential; you can get it from cooked salmon, milk and egg yolk. So women, get a healthy diet and get moving for strong enough bones that don’t betray you during your life.

Image Courtesy: Getty

Read more articles on Understanding Osteoporosis in Women.



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