Medical conditions that increase risk

Some medical conditions are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.

Knowing you are at risk means you can discuss with your doctor how your other condition is being managed and treated. Proper care of these conditions will often reduce their effect on bone health.

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • low levels of the sex hormone oestrogen in women as a result of early menopause or having a hysterectomy with removal of ovaries (before 45), anorexia nervosa or Turner’s syndrome; excessive exercise can also reduce hormone levels

  • low levels of the sex hormone testosterone in men can occur for a number of reasons including following surgery for some cancers; some rare conditions that men are born with, such as Klinefelter syndrome or Kallman syndrome, also lower testosterone levels

  • hyperthyroidism, in which levels of thyroid hormone are abnormally high

  • parathyroid disease, in which levels of parathyroid hormone are abnormally high

  • conditions that affect the absorption of food, such as Crohn’s or coeliac disease

  • conditions that cause long periods of immobility, such as stroke

  • anorexia nervosa

The following medical conditions may increase risk of bone loss and osteoporosis, although more research is needed to understand why and establish the true impact they have on bone strength.

  • diabetes

  • HIV (AIDS)

  • liver disease

  • cystic fibrosis

  • dementia

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • organ transplant recipients

  • people with some respiratory diseases