During childhood and the teenage years, new bone is added to the skeleton faster than old bone is removed or resorbed. As a result, bones grow in both size and strength. After you stop growing taller, bone formation continues at a faster pace than resorption until around the early twenties, when women and men reach their peak bone mass, or maximum amount of bone. Peak bone mass is influenced by various genetic and external, or environmental, factors, including whether you are male or female (your sex), hormones, nutrition, and physical activity.
After your early twenties, your bone mass may remain stable or decrease very gradually for a period of years, depending on a variety of lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity. Starting in midlife, both men and women experience an age-related decline in bone mass. Women lose bone rapidly in the first 4 to 8 years after menopause (the completion of a full year without a menstrual period), which usually occurs between ages 45 and 55. By age 65, men and women tend to be losing bone tissue at the same rate, and this more gradual bone loss continues throughout life.
Source: NIAMS (NIH)1
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Bone Density: The amount of mineral per square centimeter of Bone. This is the definition used in clinical practice. Actual bone density would be expressed in grams per milliliter. It is most frequently measured by X-Ray Absorptiometry or Tomography, X Ray Computed. Bone density is an important predictor for Osteoporosis.2
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- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is weakened bones from bone thinning, often associated with aging and post-menopausal women. The condition also affects men, but usually more gradually as andropause causes a slower drop
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- Source: NIAMS (NIH): niams.nih.gov/ Health_Info/ Osteoporosis/ default.asp
- Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
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