Risk factors for osteoporosis may be inherited or acquired.1,2 Inherited factors include female sex and white or Asian ancestry. Women with Turners syndrome or any condition leading to low estrogen levels are at increased risk of osteoporosis. Women with a personal history of fracture as an adult or history of osteoporosis in a first-degree relative also are at increased risk. Acquired risk factors include current smoking (> 1 pack per day), alcohol use (> 2 drinks per day), low calcium intake (< 1200 mg per day), and sedentary lifestyle. Finally, women with low body weight (< 127 lb) are at increased risk for osteoporosis. Guidelines for osteoporosis screening and prevention are available only for women at this time.
1. National Osteoporosis Foundation physicians guide to prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Available at: http://www.nof.org/physguide. Accessed 30 Sep 2003.
2. South-Paul JE. Osteoporosis: part I. Evaluation and assessment. Am Fam Physician 2001;63:897904.
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