Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Aging is one of the main causes of osteoporosis, because as we age, bones become less dense and weaker.
In women, the principle cause of osteoporosis is due to bone loss during and after menopause. There are other contributing factors that can lead to osteoporosis. These include:
Lifestyle factors, such as inactivity, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
Vitamin D deficiency
Family history of bone disease
Some medications (diuretics, steroids and chemotherapy drugs)
Studies have shown that the Caucasian and Asian segments of the population are at higher risk for developing osteoporosis, although people from any ethnic background can be affected.
Women and Osteoporosis
Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, as those who weigh less and have small body frames are more at risk for developing osteoporosis. Additionally, menopause places women at greater risk because they may lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years following menopause.