Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Osteoporosis Risk in Younger Women

Topic Overview

During childhood and teen years, new bone grows faster than existing bone is absorbed by the body. After age 30, this process begins to reverse. As a natural part of aging, bone dissolves and is absorbed faster than new bone is made, and bones become thinner. You are more likely to have osteoporosis if you did not reach your ideal bone thickness (bone density) during your childhood and teenage years.

In women, bone loss increases around menopause, when ovaries produce less estrogen, a hormone that protects against bone loss. Younger women, especially in their 30s and 40s, are at lower risk for osteoporosis than older women. But your risk increases if you:

  • Have already gone through menopause. Most women go through menopause starting in their 50s, but some women go through this change earlier.
  • Smoke.
  • Do not get regular weight-bearing exercise.
  • Do not get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
  • Take corticosteroids or other medicines that may thin your bones.
  • Have more than about 1 alcoholic drink a day.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: December 7, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Carla J. Herman MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.