Peak bone mass loss varies for girls and women of different ages and ethnic backgrounds. Know if you are at risk.
Think of your bones as a bank. You make ‘deposits’ and ‘withdrawals’ of bone tissue in this bone bank. This is why, the living tissue of bones change constantly; the old ones get removed and replaced by new bone.
More ‘deposits’ are made during childhood and adolescence, marking the growth of skeleton in terms of size and density. The amount of bone tissue in the skeleton is known as bone mass. This tissue can grow until around age 30 which marks the maximum bone strength and density, known as peak bone mass.
Youth is the best time to invest in one’s bone health because up to 90% of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and age 20 in boys. After the age 30 and between menopause, there is minimal change in total bone mass in women.
Most women experience a rapid bone mass loss during the first few years after menopause, which then slows down during the later postmenopausal years. This loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis. To avoid the risk of developing osteoporosis, it is better to pay more attention to those factors that affect peak bone mass. According to the National
Osteoporosis Foundation, women belonging to the following groups are at a greater risk of peak bone mass:
- Twenty percent of Caucasian women age 50 and older are estimated to have osteoporosis.
- More than half of all Caucasian women age 50 and older are estimated to have low bone mass, which means their bones are getting weaker but they don’t yet have osteoporosis.
- Between the ages of 20 and 80, Caucasian women lose one-third of the bone mineral density in their hip.
- About 15 percent of Caucasians are lactose intolerant, which can make it difficult to get enough calcium.
- Five percent of African American women older than 50 are estimated to have osteoporosis.
- Another 35 percent are estimated to have low bone mass, which means their bones are getting weaker but they don’t yet have osteoporosis.
- Recent research shows that even among African American women who do have risk factors for osteoporosis, few are screened for the disease.
- About 70 percent of African Americans are lactose intolerant, which can make it difficult to get enough calcium.
- Many African American women don’t get enough vitamin D, which can make it hard for the body to absorb calcium.
- In the United States, African American women are more likely than many other racial or ethnic groups to have diseases that can lead to osteoporosis, such as lupus.
- About 20 percent of Asian American women age 50 and older are estimated to have osteoporosis.
- More than half of all Asian American women age 50 and older are estimated to have low bone density, which means their bones are getting weaker but they don’t yet have osteoporosis.
- About 90 percent of Asian American adults are lactose intolerant, which can make it difficult to get enough calcium.
- Ten percent of Latinas have osteoporosis.
- Half of all Latinas older than 50 have low bone mass, which means their bones are getting weaker but they don’t yet have osteoporosis.
- Many Latinas are lactose intolerant, which can make it difficult to get enough calcium.
- Hip fractures among Latinas in the United States appear to be on the rise.
The hormone estrogen has an effect on peak bone mass. For example, women who had their first menstrual cycle at an early age and those who use oral contraceptives - which contain estrogen - often have high bone mineral density. In contrast, young women whose menstrual periods stop due to extremely low body weight or excessive exercise, for example, may lose significant amounts of bone density, which may not be recovered even after their periods return.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health. Calcium deficiencies in young people can account for a 5 to 10 percent difference in peak bone mass and can increase the risk for hip fracture later in life. Surveys indicate that teenage girls in the United States are less likely than teenage boys to get enough calcium. In fact, less than 10 percent of girls ages 9 to 17 are actually getting the calcium they need each day.
The oestrogen levels in menopausal women drop leading to bone loss. For some women, this loss can be rapid and severe.
Image Courtesy: Getty
Read more articles on Osteoporosis in Women.
All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however Onlymyhealth.com does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.