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How do my age, gender, and hormones affect my risk of bone loss?

Harris H. McIlwain, MD
Rheumatology
After age 35 or later, our bodies lose bone mass faster than it is built. This happens in both genders but is more common at an earlier age in women. As a woman’s estrogen production declines around menopause, her rate of bone loss increases. Using estrogen-replacement therapy can greatly improve this. However, men also lose bone loss over time because their testosterone levels drop as they age, and because of other factors such as smoking, drinking, a diet low in calcium, and a lack of exercise. 
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