Gender is a risk factor that cannot be controlled. Women are at higher risk for osteoporosis than men. They have smaller bones and lose bone more rapidly than men do because of hormone changes that occur after menopause. The hormonal change that takes place is a decrease in estrogen levels.
After maximum bone density and strength is reached (generally around age 30), bone mass begins to naturally drop with age. Caucasian and Asian women are at the highest risk for osteoporosis. This is mainly due to differences in bone mass and density compared with other ethnic groups. African-American and Hispanic women are also at risk, but less than Caucasian and Asian women.