Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
Osteoporosis is a bone condition where parts of the bone become weak increasing the risk of fractures. It is reported that about 2 million fractures occur each year due to osteoporosis.
Although bone disease can affect both the sexes, women are at greater risk, particularly those over the age of 50. However doctors have warned that men are as likely to be affected by the disease as women. This is probably because less attention is paid to bone health in men.
Here are three reasons why the fairer sex are more vulnerable to bone disease:
Menopause: This can increase a woman's risk of developing bone disease due to lack of hormone estrogen (a key factor in maintaining bone strength in women). Estrogen also helps regulate a woman’s reproductive cycle. Women will experience dramatic drops in estrogen production during menopause causing loss of bone mass.
Eating a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and doing weight-bearing exercise regularly can reduce osteoporosis risk.
Bone structure: Unlike men, women have 30% less bone mass which makes them prone to osteoporosis. In addition, petite and thin women are believed to have a greater risk of developing bone disease in part as they have less bone to lose than their peers with more body weight and larger frames.
Age: Your bone mass starts to decline naturally with age after maximum bone density and strength is attained. Peak bone mass is reached around the age of 25 to 30 years. Women over age 50 have the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. Women's lighter, thinner bones and longer life spans also contribute to this problem.
However, both men and women lose bone at about the same rate after reaching 65 to 70 years of age.