How does menopause affect bone metabolism?

Updated: Sep 24, 2019
  • Author: Nicole K Banks, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

Bone mass steadily increases during childhood and adolescence and reaches a plateau in the third decade of life. Men achieve a higher peak bone mass than women do. As a subsequence, age-related bone loss is further governed by an interplay of multiple factors, particularly sex, family history, diet, and exercise. Women are more susceptible than men, and the low estrogen levels of menopause can accelerate the progressive bone loss, particularly in the first 5 years after menopause. This situation predisposes postmenopausal women to develop osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. A 50-year-old woman has a 40% lifetime risk of having a fragility fracture, which typically occurs in the femoral neck, vertebra, or distal forearm. [4]


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