Osteoporosis: Peak Bone Mass In Women | BlackDoctor

    Osteoporosis: Peak Bone Mass In Women

     

    (BlackDoctor.org) — Bones are the framework for your body. Bone is living
    tissue that changes constantly, with bits of old bone being removed and replaced
    by new bone. You can think of bone as a bank account, where you make “deposits”
    and “withdrawals” of bone tissue.

    During childhood and adolescence, much more bone is deposited than withdrawn,
    so the skeleton grows in both size and density. Up to 90 percent of peak bone
    mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and age 20 in boys, which makes youth the
    best time to “invest” in your bone health.

    The amount of bone tissue in the skeleton, known as bone mass, can keep
    growing until around age 30. At that point, bones have reached their maximum
    strength and density, known as peak bone mass. In women, there tends to be
    minimal change in total bone mass between age 30 and menopause. But in the first
    few years after menopause, most women experience rapid bone loss, a “withdrawal”
    from the bone bank account, which then slows but continues throughout the
    postmenopausal years. This loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis. Given the
    knowledge that high peak bone density reduces osteoporosis risk later in life,
    it makes sense to pay more attention to those factors that affect peak bone
    mass.

    Factors Affecting Peak Bone
    Mass

    Peak bone mass is influenced by a variety of genetic and environmental
    factors. It has been suggested that genetic factors (those you were born with
    and cannot change, like your gender and race) may account for up to 75 percent
    of bone mass, while environmental factors (like your diet and exercise habits)
    account for the remaining 25 percent.

    Gender: Peak bone mass tends to
    be higher in men than in women. Before puberty, boys and girls acquire bone mass
    at similar rates. After puberty, however, men tend to acquire greater bone mass
    than women.

    Race: For reasons still not
    known, African American females tend to achieve higher peak bone mass than
    Caucasian females. These differences in bone density are seen even during
    childhood and adolescence.

    Hormonal factors: The hormone
    estrogen has an effect on peak bone mass. For example, women who had their first
    menstrual cycle at an early age and those who use oral contraceptives – which
    contain estrogen – often have high bone mineral density. In contrast, young
    women whose menstrual periods stop due to extremely low body weight or excessive
    exercise, for example, may lose significant amounts of bone density, which may
    not be recovered even after their periods return.

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