There are four types of osteoporosis: primary, secondary, osteogenesis imperfecta, and idiopathic juvenile.
Primary osteoporosis is the most common type of osteoporosis. It is more common in women than men. A person reaches peak bone mass (density) at about age 30. After that, the rate of bone loss slowly increases, while the rate of bone building decreases. Whether a person develops osteoporosis depends on the thickness of the bones in early life as well as health, diet, and physical activity at all ages.
Secondary osteoporosis has the same symptoms as primary osteoporosis. But it occurs as a result of having certain medical conditions, such as hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or leukemia. It may also occur as a result of taking medicines known to cause bone breakdown, such as oral or high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (if used for more than 6 months), too high a dose of thyroid replacement, or aromatase inhibitors (used to treat breast cancer). Secondary osteoporosis can occur at any age.
Osteogenesis imperfecta is a rare form of osteoporosis that is present at birth. Osteogenesis imperfecta causes bones to break for no apparent reason.
Idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis
Idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis is rare. It occurs in children between the ages of 8 and 14 or during times of rapid growth. There is no known cause for this type of osteoporosis, in which there is too little bone formation or excessive bone loss. This condition increases the risk of fractures.
There typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected