heredity risk of osteporosis
Women's health

My mother and maternal grandmother were both diagnosed with osteoporosis. Do I naturally fall into a high-risk category because of this or are there any preventative measures I can take? I’m 36.

Rachel says
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects older women. The structure of the bone is weakened and the risk of bone fracture is increased. It is more common in older women because the female hormone oestrogen produced by younger women protects bones until the menopause.

You are right in thinking that your family history of osteoporosis is important – it does run in families. However, because of your age there is no need to be concerned at this point.

It is very important that you don’t smoke, reduce your caffeine intake, ensure your diet is rich in calcium and vitamin D, and take regular weight bearing exercise such as running and walking to keep your bones strong at the moment. A bone density check at the time of the menopause around age 50 would also be a good idea.

For detailed advice see Irish Osteoporosis Society

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