We accumulate bone mass from childhood into early adulthood and beyond. But after age 40, our bone mass declines, leaving us at risk of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis means “porous bones.” The condition causes the bones to become brittle from a loss of mass and density.

Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men due to the decrease in the hormone estrogen during menopause. This hormone plays an important role in bone health.

A decrease in estrogen causes a decline in new bone formation and an increase in bone resorption, or the dissolving of a bone’s mineral content. If your body can’t create new bone as quickly as it’s losing old bone, you may have osteoporosis.

While osteoporosis has no cure, treatments can help strengthen bone and slow the breakdown of bone. This may involve prescription medication, adjustments to your diet and exercise routine, and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking.

Let’s take a closer look at the facts and stats on osteoporosis and its connection to bone health.