The hormones estrogen and testosterone play an important role in the maintenance of bone strength and changes in the hormone levels may induce bone loss and may cause bones to become thin and fragile.
In women, low estrogen levels as a result of postmenopausal changes or medications may lead to osteoporosis. In men, osteoporosis may be caused by reduced testosterone levels as a result of aging or hormone ablation therapy used to treat prostate cancer.
Other risk factors for osteoporosis include being underweight, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol use, cigarette smoking and calcium deficiency.
Many patients with osteoporosis have no symptoms but remain at risk for osteoporotic fractures because of their fragile bones, especially in the spine, hips and wrists.