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Who gets osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is common in the UK, and the risk increases with age. Anyone can get osteoporosis but women are about four times more likely than men to develop it. There are two main reasons for this:

  • The process of bone loss speeds up for several years after the menopause, when the ovaries stop producing the female sex hormone oestrogen.
  • Men generally reach a higher level of bone density before the process of bone loss begins. Bone loss still occurs in men but it has to be more severe before osteoporosis occurs.

Graph showing typical bone mass in men and women

A number of other risk factors can increase your chances of developing osteoporosis.

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