Reviewed by Barbara L. Goldstein,

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

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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