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Everyone is at risk for osteoporosis and risk increases with age. Certain factors increase a person's risk. The following self-assessment will help you determine your risk for developing osteoporosis.

After you take this self-risk assessment, return to this website for more important information on osteoporosis.

Find Out Your Risk For Osteoporosis

If the quiz indicates you are at risk, talk to your doctor about bone health and your personal risk for osteoporosis.

You are at increased risk for osteoporosis if you are:
  • Female

    • Your risk is even greater if you are postmenopausal (no longer menstruating), including early or surgically induced menopause (removal of ovaries) or
    • Have an abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea).
  • Caucasian (white) or Asian (although Hispanic Americans and African American are also at risk)
  • Thin and/or have a small frame
  • Over 50 years of age
  • Physically inactive
  • A smoker
  • Have more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Male and have low testosterone levels
  • Have a family history of osteoporosis
  • Have a diet low in calcium and other important nutrients
  • Use medications such as corticosteroids used to treat asthma or arthritis, anticonvulsants, certain cancer treatments or aluminum-containing antacids
  • Have Anorexia nervosa or bulimia



Risk Factors You Can Change

Alcohol and Osteoporosis.
Limiting your alcohol intake can reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day can increase your risk of bone loss and fractures. This daily amount of alcohol may lead to poor nutrition (less calcium and other important nutrients) and to a greater risk of falling.

Medications and Osteoporosis Risk.
Long-term intake (3 months or more) of thyroid or cortisone-like drugs and anti-seizure drugs (phenytoin, barbiturates) increases your risk of bone loss. Several other drugs including anticonvulsants, certain cancer treatments and aluminum-containing antacids can cause bone loss. Ask your health care provider about your medications and their impact on the health of your bones.

Other Diseases and Osteoporosis Risk.
Chronic disease that affects the kidneys, lungs, stomach or intestines, or diseases that alter hormone levels can increase osteoporosis risk. Asthma and Rheumatoid Arthritis can increase osteoporosis risk because of the drugs used to control these diseases. Ask your health care provider how other diseases may impact your bone health.




Risk Factors You Cannot Change

Personal History of Broken Bones During Adulthood. The first symptom of osteoporosis is often a fracture. Women or men with a single vertebral fracture are 5 to 25 times more likely to have another spine fracture. A non-impact broken bone may be a sign of osteoporosis. (For example, if you are 30 years of age and break a bone while skiing, you are not in this category.)

Gender. Women are more at risk for developing osteoporosis due to lower peak bone mass and the loss of bone at menopause. Men can and do, however, get osteoporosis.

Ethnicity. People of Caucasian or people of Asian descent are at greater risk than members of other ethnic groups. Regardless of heritage, osteoporosis can happen to anyone.

Family History. If someone in your family has or had osteoporosis, you have a greater risk of developing the disease. A family history does not mean, however, that you will absolutely develop it. Alternately, no family history does not mean you are not at risk.

Body Frame. Small bones, thin frame or body weight less than 127 pounds are risk factors for both women and men. People who are heavier or have a larger frame can still get the disease.

Age. Bone loss occurs over time. The risk of osteoporosis is significant for both men and women as they advance in age, especially over 65.


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