8 Conditions Linked to Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is generally associated with old age but age isn’t the only factor involved. Osteoporosis is linked to various other medical conditions, some of which might be surprising. While it’s not certain that people will develop osteoporosis simply because they have these conditions, it is important for individuals to be aware of the increased risk and how other diseases are connected to osteoporosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, this means that the body attacks its own cells and tissues causing chronic inflammation. Over time this inflammation has an effect on the body and this swelling coupled with the effect of the drugs used to control the inflammation also accelerates bone loss.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease, describes a group of intestinal disorders which cause inflammation in the digestive tract causing the absorption of nutrients to be impeded, this in turn links to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Additionally, corticosteroid use over time, and the long-term inflammation they are prescribed to treat can accelerate the onset of osteoporosis.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is linked to low bone density. Our bones grow and get stronger until they reach their peak bone mass. If this is low to begin with, patients have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis or experiencing a fracture. Diabetes is also associated with being overweight, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fracture risk.


Both dementia and osteoporosis are commonly seen conditions in the elderly. Those who suffer from dementia run a significantly higher risk of hip fracture due to a fall than those who have no cognitive disorder. In those with dementia, the correct care and attention is crucial and can help patients to reduce the risk of fracture.

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease describes the gradual loss of kidney function, and is associated with bone disorders and an increased risk of fracture. In elderly patients with CKD, fractures are twice as common as in those with normal kidney function.


Hypogonadism refers to the decreased function of the gonads, which in men is the testes, and the ovaries in women. This means less testosterone and oestrogen is produced respectively. Oestrogen deficiency is connected with osteoporosis and recent studies have shown there is also a relationship between testosterone levels and bone density.

Certain lung diseases

Lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema fall under the umbrella of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is a term used to describe various inflammatory airway diseases. Reports have shown that low bone density is prevalent in those with COPD. Along with reduced physical activity and vitamin D insufficiency, all these factors increase the risk of osteoporosis. In those with COPD, screening is recommended as a routine procedure for earlier diagnosis of osteoporosis and appropriate treatment.

Final Note

Some of the above conditions can also occur in childhood, such as inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes. Other chronic conditions such as juvenile arthritis also increase the risk of osteoporosis, either through impact on skeletal health or inability to achieve ideal peak bone mass.

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