How much does bone mass decrease as I age?

David Slovik, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
During the first 20 years of life, new bone is built more quickly than old bone is removed. By the late teens, most bone formation has already occurred. By age 20, most women have already built 98% of their skeletal mass, and by age 30 most men and women reach their peak bone mass.
Among women, bone mass usually remains level until the onset of menopause, when bone is lost rapidly. But many women also start to lose bone in the years just preceding menopause. While the pace of bone loss slows after the first few years of menopause, women continue to lose bone. In the five to seven years after menopause, women can lose up to one-fifth of their bone mass. Bone loss usually begins later for men -- in their 50s -- and progresses more slowly. But by ages 65 to 70, men and women lose bone at the same rate.

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