Wishing for strong bones isn’t enough, build them.

Osteoporosis and other bone diseases can result in fractures, weakness and reduce your quality of life. Fact is, osteoporosis results in 1.5 million fractures (broken bones) in the U.S. every year. Understanding some of your risks is an important first step:

It’s hereditary: You’re more likely to have osteoporosis or suffer a fracture if one of your parents did.

Age matters: Likelihood of having osteoporosis increases with age, but younger women and men can get it too.

Menopause: Lower estrogen levels contribute to osteoporosis.

Other treatments: If you are being treated for cancer, asthma or rheumatoid arthritis, you may be at increased risk for osteoporosis.

Take action to build stronger bones: Get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Do weight-bearing exercises. And talk to your healthcare professional about whether you need a bone density test and how you can keep your bones strong.
Source: A Report of the Surgeon General from Better Homes & Gardens May 2011