Role of Gender and Ethnicity in Determining Osteoporosis Risk

Osteopenia V/s Osteoporosis
Osteopenia V/s Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis Specialist
Osteoporosis Specialist

Osteoporosis is a disease where bones get weak, increasing the risk of fractures. Fractures are common in vertebra, hip, and forearm. Osteoporosis does not have symptoms, it is just a condition. As per osteoporosis specialists, several factors can increase the risk of the disease and it is more prevalent in old people and women. Old age people are more prone to osteoporosis. Factors like gender and ethnicity affect osteoporosis risk rate.

Why Women Are More At Risk of Osteoporosis?

The bone structure of women is different from that of men. Women have thinner bones than men. This means there is an increased chance of fracture.

Estrogen is the hormone that ensures bone protection. The level of estrogen in females, as they near menopause starts dropping down. A woman who has reached menopause is at higher risk of osteoporosis than a younger woman.

It is not just the gender, but the combination of gender and ethnicity that plays a role in determining osteoporosis risk.

Caucasian Women

Estimates reveal that about twenty percent of Caucasian woman above the age of 50 have osteoporosis disease and more than half of the Caucasian women have low bone mass. A low bone mass indicates weakening bones. Studies show that about 15 % of Caucasian women are lactose intolerant.

Lactose is a rich source of calcium, which is crucial in determining bone density. The lactose intolerance proves to be a reason for falling bone densities in Caucasian women.

African-American Women

About 5% of African-American women in the US above the age of 50 have osteoporosis. African-Americans in the US are more likely to have osteoporosis compared to other ethnic groups.

Asian-American Women

About 20 % of Asian-American women above the age of 50 have osteoporosis and more than half of Asian-American women have decreasing bone densities. One reason is the high incidence of lactose-intolerance among Asian-Americans.

Latina Women

About 10% of Latina women above 50 years of age have osteoporosis and about half of Latina women have low bone densities.

Osteoporosis in Premenopausal Women

It is true that the chances of osteoporosis increases when one is in her old age. This doesn’t mean that young adult women are completely free of the osteoporosis risk. Women in their 20s, 30s and 40s can have osteoporosis even though the percentage is low. Osteoporosis in premenopausal women might be caused by a medical condition or by the intake of some particular medicine. The resulting osteoporosis is secondary osteoporosis. There need not be a reason all the time. Sometimes young women get osteoporosis for no reason. This is idiopathic osteoporosis.

What the Teenage Girls Can Do?

To avoid getting osteoporosis in old age, teenage girls have to stay informed about osteoporosis risks. They have to include adequate calcium and vitamin D in their diet, take proper exercise, and avoid smoking and drinking.