Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is characterized by decrease in the mineral density in bones and a change in bone make-up, which translates into a greater risk of fractures for the afflicted person. Contrary to what many of us have come to believe, it is not just a disease for women. It is a condition that can afflict men too, though it is women (and especially post-menopausal women) who are more commonly afflicted by osteoporosis. Click here to purchase from NHS Heroes
As a culmination of many years of study, 2009 saw the publication of the QFracture score, through which it is possible to tell, numerically, what the risk of a particular person suffering from osteoporosis-related fractures is. The QFracture score builds on an analysis of the factors that have been seen to correlate with osteoporosis incident. And a keener look at the various scoring elements that make up this score gives us insight into the factors that increase your risk of sustaining the much dreaded osteoporosis-related fractures.
One of those factors is of course your sex. If you are female, you are at a higher risk of suffering osteoporosis-related fractures at some point in your life than if you are male, though being male doesn’t completely let you off the hook. In both cases, your age is also a factor – because your risk of sustaining osteoporosis-related fractures gets higher as you advance in years. If you smoke, your QFracture score goes higher a bit: the risk of suffering from fractures caused by osteoporosis is higher in people who smoke than people who don’t smoke.
Alcohol consumption also gets into the picture in determining your risk of suffering from osteoporosis-related bone fractures. If you drink, that risk is higher than if you don’t drink (especially if you are in the age group where osteoporotic fractures are more common, for the simple reason that you are more likely to fall and incur such a fracture when you are drunk than when you are sober).
If you have ever had other conditions like heart attacks, mini-strokes (or full strokes) as well as a diseases such as asthma, your risk of suffering from fractures caused by osteoporosis is somewhat higher than that of a person who has never had any of these conditions. A history of the highly painful rheumatoid arthritis as well as chronic liver disease also increases your risk of suffering from osteoporotic fractures.
Being subject of certain courses of treatment, especially on a long term basis, can also translate to an increased risk of suffering from fractures caused by osteoporosis. Here we are looking at things like the class of depression medication known as tricyclics, as well courses of treatments that involve taking steroid tablets.
Your body mass index is also a factor, in determining your risk of incurring osteoporotic fractures. The healthier your body mass index (which is a function of your weight and height), the lower your risk of suffering from these osteoporosis-related fractures.
Obviously, if you have a history of falls – the so-called ‘ordinary falls’ – you are at a greater risk of incurring osteoporosis-related fractures than a person who is more physically stable.