An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Risk Factors
- Older age
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Low body weight and small body frame
- Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle
Screening for Osteoporosis
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women receive bone mineral density (BMD) screening beginning at age 65. Postmenopausal women younger than age 65 should be screened only if they have significant risk factors for osteoporosis or bone fracture, or a history of stress fracture.
- Current practice recommends BMD retesting every 2 years. However, some research suggests that certain women may be able to wait a much longer time between their screening tests, perhaps as long as 5 to 15 years. Discuss with your doctor how often you should be tested.
Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement Recommendations
Healthy postmenopausal women with good diets do not need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements, according to recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). According to the USPSTF, daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D and calcium supplements do not prevent fractures in healthy people and can increase the risk of kidney stones. The USPSTF also notes that there is currently no definition on what exact levels indicate vitamin D deficiency. Talk with your health care provider about whether or not you need these supplements.