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Osteoporosis FAQs (cont.)

When Does Osteoporosis Occur?

Osteoporosis can occur at any age. However, it is more common in people older than 50 years of age, and the older a person is, the greater the risk is of osteoporosis. This is because during childhood and teenage years, new bone is generally added faster than old bone is removed. This is the time when a diet rich in calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D is important. As a result, bones become larger, heavier, and denser. Maximum bone density and strength is reached by 20-25 years of age. The density and strength of the bones is fairly stable from 25-45 years of age. A slight loss of bone density begins to occur after age 30 because bone slowly begins to break down (a process called resorption) faster than new bone is formed. For women, bone loss is fastest in the first few years after menopause, but it continues gradually into the postmenopausal years. As bone density loss occurs, osteoporosis can develop. This process is slower by 10 years in men.

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