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It really depends on how thin you are. Question 13 explains how to calculate your BMI. If your BMI is less than 22, then your weight is a risk factor for osteoporosis. You say that you have worked hard to stay thin. qxd 31/1/06 04:44 PM Page 28 100 Q&A ABOUT OSTEOPOROSIS AND OSTEOPENIA Did you have to work hard in the sense that you were on a stringent diet and may not have had adequate intake of calcium, Vitamin D, and protein? Or did you exercise excessively to stay thin? Both lifestyles could interfere with the normal process of bone breakdown and bone formation.
White men are also at higher risk for developing osteoporosis than Hispanic and AfricanAmerican men. qxd 31/1/06 04:44 PM Page 19 100 Q&A ABOUT OSTEOPOROSIS AND OSTEOPENIA Menopausal women and men in later life are not the only ones who experience osteoporosis and osteopenia. Children, adolescents, and young adults can get osteoporosis too, particularly those with genetic or nutritional disorders, and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, because they do not make hormones or absorb calcium, Vitamin D, and other nutrients and protein required for normal bone development.
Depression is also associated with an increased risk for falls. It is not entirely clear whether the diagnosis and effects of having osteoporosis cause the depression or if the chemical imbalance or sedentary lifestyle resulting from depression interferes with bone development. There are several reasons why asthma also can be a serious risk factor for developing osteoporosis. First, steroid medications are often used to decrease inflammation of the airway. These medications are known to increase bone loss (see Question 16).