Clinical risk factors* for osteopenia and osteoporosis include:

   – Loss of height
   – Low body weight
   – Advanced age
   – Late age at menarche
   – Menopausal
   – Time since menopause
   – Smoking
   – Calcium intake
   – Alcohol intake
   – Medications
   – Inflammatory conditions
   – Prior fragility fracture

But: Risk factor assessment is NOT a substitute for having a bone mineral density examination (DXA). Research shows that 50% of patients with osteoporosis do not have risk factors and 50% of patients with risk factors do not have osteoporosis as per a DXA exam** (T score of -2.5 or worse).

So: Make sure you get a bone density examination (DXA)! Please do not rely on risk factors because they DO NOT predict your chances of having osteoporosis.

*Riggs B.L. and Melton L.J., NEJM. 1986;314:1676-1686.
**Delmas, P.D. et al. Impact Trial, JBMR. 2005; 20:557-563.