Race / Ethnicity

Does race or ethnicity affect the risk of osteoporosis?

Race and ethnicity are important determinants of bone mass.

  • African-Americans tend to have higher bone mass levels than Caucasians and Asians.
  • Hispanic women tend to have bone mass levels lower than that of African-Americans but higher than Caucasians or Asians.
  • Scientists are still studying the reasons for gender and racial differences in the development of peak bone mass (the maximum amount of bone density a person can reach,usually by age 25) and osteoporosis .

What can I do to promote bone health?

It is important to do everything possible to build strong bones in the growing years and to maintain strong bones in adulthood. The earlier certain prevention measures are taken, the more impact they will have on reducing future risk of osteoporosis. Lifestyle choices in youth and young adulthood will determine if you reach the peak bone mass determined by your genetics. You can do this by making healthy choices including eating a nutrient rich diet with adequate calcium, getting the recommended vitamin D, participating in regular physical activity, avoiding smoking  and limiting your intake of alcoholic beverages.

Continuing healthy lifestyle choices in adulthood will help you to maintain strong bones. By completing a NYSOPEP risk assessment, you can take the first step to help you identify your risk for osteoporosis. Choose the appropriate NYSOPEP Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for you, “Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for Postmenopausal Women“, for “Premenopausal Women“or “for Men“. It is important to discuss your risk assessment as well as your family history with your health care provider.