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This information was reviewed and approved by Mehrnaz Maleki Fischbach, MD (7/1/2019).

Some people are more likely to develop osteoporosis than others. Factors that increase the chance of developing osteoporosis are called "risk factors."


What are the causes of osteoporosis?

Risk factors include:

  • Being female
  • Having a thin and/or small frame

  • Getting older

  • Having a family member with osteoporosis

  • Leading an inactive lifestyle

  • Eating a diet low in calcium and vitamin D

  • Using alcohol on a regular basis

  • Smoking tobacco

  • Going through menopause

  • Low testosterone levels (in men)

  • Being of Caucasian or Asian ancestry, though African Americans and Hispanic Americans are at risk as well

  • Using certain medicines, such as corticosteroids and anti-seizure medications

  • Having a medical condition that impairs calcium absorption, such as disorders of the stomach and intestines, liver or kidney



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