Osteoporosis is a common health issue, affecting millions of Americans today. This condition can affect anyone, both men and women, however women are more prone to osteoporosis than men.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, osteoporosis statistics showed that one in every two women over the age 50 would have osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, compared to a bone density loss of only one-fourth in men.
The question is, why are women more prone to osteoporosis than men? There are a number of reasons that can cause women to have a much higher risk of osteoporosis. Some of the major reasons are:
Oestrogen is a hormone that helps regulate a woman’s reproductive cycle and plays an important role in keeping bones strong and healthy. During menopause, the estrogen levels begin to decline, which contributes to a rapid loss of bone density.
Lower peak bone mass
Women tend to have lower peak bone mass than men. Before puberty, boys and girls acquire bone mass at similar rates. After puberty, however, men tend to acquire greater bone mass than women. Having a high peak bone mass early in life reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, women are more likely to have osteoporosis than men.
In general, women tend to have thinner bones than men and thus they are more prone to decreased bone density.
What can women do to lower their risk for osteoporosis?
Women reach peak bone mass at around 20-30 years old; when the skeleton has stopped growing and bones are at their strongest and thickest. The female hormone oestrogen maintains bone density, but after menopause the level drops and this may lead to bone loss, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
The average woman loses up to 10 percent of her bone mass in the first five years after menopause, making the decrease in bone density almost impossible to avoid. However, early prevention through eating a high-calcium diet and exercising regularly can help slow down the rate of degeneration. Learn more about the treatment and prevention strategies for osteoporosis.