Osteoporosis occurs when bone remodelling – the balanced process by which bone is renewed and repaired – is disrupted by a variety of factors, some of which can be modified and some of which cannot at present. It is thought that the potential for any individual to develop osteoporosis is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. These in turn determine:
- The peak bone mass achieved at maturity
- The age at which bone loss starts
- The rate of bone loss
A variety of risk factors increase the risk of fracture, and many of these do so by increasing the risk of osteoporosis. These risk factors will be covered in the Identification section of this resource.