September 04, 2020

Why is Osteoporosis More Common in Women?

How Do You Develop Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that causes them to thin and weaken over time, making them more prone to breaking. It’s estimated that 80% of the 10 million Americans who have osteoporosis are women. Osteoporosis is caused by bone loss. Most often, the reason for bone loss is very low levels of the hormone estrogen, which plays an important role in building and maintaining your bones.

Why is Osteoporosis More Common in Females Than Males?

There are many reasons why osteoporosis is more common in women than in men. Below, we’ll outline some of the factors that make women more susceptible to osteoporosis.

Genetic Makeup: Females Vs. Males

The genetic makeup (physiologically) of a woman differs from that of a man. Women tend to have smaller, lighter bones than men. Women also lose bone density more quickly than men as they age, which increases the risk of osteoporosis.

Differences in Hormones

Another reason that osteoporosis is more common in women is that estrogen, a hormone that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause and this can cause bone loss. While both men and women have estrogen, women lose more as they age and are more likely to experience bone loss and osteoporosis at that time.

Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

As much as half of a woman’s total bone loss occurs within the first 10 years following menopause. The lack of estrogen that occurs naturally during menopause is directly related to a decrease in bone density. The longer a woman experiences lower estrogen levels, the lower her bone density is likely to be, which increases the risk of osteoporosis. This is another reason why osteoporosis is more common in women than in men.

Learn More About Osteoporosis Treatment

If you have any questions about treatment options for osteoporosis or are concerned about your risk for osteoporosis, find a Baptist Health provider and schedule an appointment today.

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