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Risk Factors in the Development of Osteoporosis

Risk Factors

Several factors act as risk factors for the development of osteoporosis. The common risk factors have been discussed in the following paragraphs.

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To begin with, the development of osteoporosis is enhanced by risks that can hardly be changed. The frame size and gender are some of the key risk factors worth considering in this discussion. Moreover, the background of the family, as well as the development stage of the affected individual, is also crucial as part and parcel of risk factors. The levels of hormones can also affect the risk level of contracting osteoporosis. When the level of hormone is either too little or in excess, the risk factor can also be increased (Iannone & Lapadula, 2003). For instance, when estrogen levels are reduced as a result of menopause, the risk factor for osteoporosis is equally increased. When women suffer from certain forms of cancer attacks, they may also undergo a period of low levels of estrogen. On the same note, the testosterone level among men is also reduced with the increase in age.

Second, problems that emanate from the thyroid also contribute toward a high risk of osteoporosis. The latter is attributed to the fact that bone loss can be caused by excess hormones that emanate from the thyroid glands. When under reactive thyroid is treated using excess hormone medication or when the thyroid overreacts, it may lead to a major risk factor in the development of osteoporosis. There are also quite a number of other glands that are responsible for the excess production of hormones. In addition, dietary factors have been associated with the development of osteoporosis. Examples include gastrointestinal surgery, eating disorders, and low calcium intake. Corticosteroid medications that contain steroids have also been associated with risk factors that accelerate the growth and development of osteoporosis. Finally, tobacco use, excessive consumption of alcohol, and sedentary lifestyles are some of the common lifestyle choices that may risk an individual contracting osteoporosis.

How does the pathophysiology of osteoporosis differ from that of osteoarthritis?

The pathophysiology and etiology are functional factors in osteoporosis. The presence of fragile bones and a combination of injuries are usually the major causes of osteoporosis fractures. Poor postural reflexes, falling to the side, and multiple falls are also some of the pathophysiologies of osteoporosis (Heaney, 1998). The trabecular structures, low mass density, and composite geometry contribute towards the fragility of bones. Other factors that may play a role include intrinsic material defects, lowered collagen cross-links and accumulated fatigue damage.

On the other hand, metabolic factors and biomechanical aspects are part and parcel of the pathogeneses that constitute osteoarthritis. The interactions of the cell/extracellular matrix are usually a major issue of consideration in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis. The cell/ECM signaling is modulated by the integrins when a physiologic setting is undertaken. Cartilage homeostasis is also maintained and differentiated by the aforementioned signals.

As can be seen from the above discussion, the pathophysiology of osteoporosis differs from that of osteoarthritis in several ways (Goldman, 2012). However, the differences that exist in some respects are very minimal and can hardly be noticed. Nonetheless, both pathophysiologies are distinct in some ways because the objectives meant for each aspect are different. In regards to the risk factors that contribute toward the development of osteoporosis, it can be seen that the condition is largely accelerated by the fact that the human lifestyle has changed significantly over the recent past.

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Goldman, L. (2012). Cecil Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier.

Heaney, R.P. (1998). Pathophysiology of osteoporosis. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 27(2):255-265.

Iannone, F. & Lapadula, G. (2003). The pathophysiology of osteoarthritis. Aging Clin Exp Res. 15(5):364-372.

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