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Bone health (osteoporosis)

As a woman, you have a higher risk for osteoporosis

Women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis for two main reasons: women have smaller and thinner bones and estrogen, a hormone that protects bones, drops significantly around menopause. In fact, a woman can lose up to 20 percent of her bone density in the five to seven years following menopause.


There are several risk factors that have been identified that can indicate an increased risk for osteoporosis:

  • Small, thin frame or excessive thinness
  • Personal and/or family history of broken bones as an adult
  • Diet low in calcium
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Low testosterone levels in men
  • Advanced age
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Long-term use of certain medications, such as prolonged steroid therapy

Here are some other facts about osteoporosis:

  • Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million, or 80 percent, are women.
  • Approximately one in two women age 50 or older will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
  • A women's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

Although it's never too late to start protecting your bones, the best time to begin is while you're young. But if you already have osteoporosis or are at risk for it, the good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent bone loss and broken bones.

Eating a diet rich in vitamins and calcium, exercising and making healthy lifestyle choices will all improve your bone health.

Novant Health can help

We offer many programs to help prevent or manage osteoporosis, including:

  • Bone mass screenings
  • Individual consultations
  • Educational classes
  • Fitness and wellness programs
  • Some of the most advanced treatments for osteoporosis and all other musculoskeletal conditions

Locations specializing in this service:

Related links:

Health information

Audio resources

e-Health news: Podcast

Panel Nixes Supplements for Bone Health