This bone-weakening disease affects about 54 million Americans, most typically those over the age of 50. Women, in particular, are at a greater risk than men, with one in two women affected compared to only one in four men.
“The female hormone, estrogens, tends to have a protective effect on bone density,” explains Dr. Guma. “As a woman reaches menopause, and her levels of estrogen plummet, her rate of bone loss increases significantly.” This can result in increased chance of fractures over the course of her lives. Additionally, Dr. Guma points out that women have smaller and thinner bones than men to begin with, which also puts them at risk for the condition.