Senile osteoporosis is bone loss that results from aging. The condition may not cause any symptoms at first, but it can lead to fractures and difficulty moving.

Senile osteoporosis causes bone loss, and it develops as an adult grows older. It can weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures and other injuries.

This article looks at the symptoms, causes, and treatments of senile osteoporosis.

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Osteoporosis causes bone mass and strength to decrease. This increases the risk of bones breaking.

Senile osteoporosis is a type that results from aging, and it typically begins in a person’s 70s.

Osteoporosis can stem from a variety of factors. It becomes more common as people age, and particularly during menopause. “Postmenopausal osteoporosis” refers to bone loss after menopause.

Any older adult can develop senile osteoporosis.

This may cause no symptoms at first. The first sign may be a broken bone or vertebral fracture, which is a collapse of a vertebra in the spine.

Symptoms of a vertebral fracture include:

  • severe back pain
  • height loss
  • a change in posture, which may result from a stooped or hunched back

Senile osteoporosis can make the bones fragile, so they can break easily. This may mean that a bone fractures due to something that would not break a healthy bone, such as:

  • a minor fall, such as falling from standing height
  • bending over
  • lifting
  • coughing

People with senile osteoporosis typically experience a progressive loss of bone mass. In this case, the effects worsen over time.

People experience bone loss and a slower rate of bone growth as they age. A decrease in bone mass means that the bones can weaken over time, which increases the risk of senile osteoporosis.

Anyone can develop senile osteoporosis, but it is more common and sometimes more severe in women, due to hormonal shifts, such as the rapid changes in estrogen levels resulting from menopause. Men experience a more gradual reduction in testosterone as they age.

Risk factors for senile osteoporosis, beyond aging, include:

  • Body size: People with smaller or thinner bones have a greater risk of osteoporosis.
  • Race: White and Asian women have a higher risk of osteoporosis than African American and Mexican American women. White men also have a higher osteoporosis risk than African American and Mexican American men.
  • Family history: Osteoporosis is more common in people with a family history of osteoporosis or hip fractures.
  • Diet: A diet low in calcium, vitamin D, or protein can increase osteoporosis risk.
  • Lifestyle factors: Low levels of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking can increase the risk of osteoporosis.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that the following medical conditions can also increase the risk:

The NIH also observe that the long-term use of some drugs can increase the risk of osteoporosis. These drugs include:

  • glucocorticoids and adrenocorticotropic hormones
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a type of antidepressant
  • proton pump inhibitors
  • thiazolidinediones for type 2 diabetes
  • antiepileptic drugs
  • hormone therapy for cancer treatment

Treatment for senile osteoporosis may include:


Regular weight-bearing exercises can improve bone health. Examples include walking, swimming, dancing, playing tennis, weight training, and climbing stairs.

These forms of exercise can help by increasing strength, coordination, and balance. This reduces the risk of falling and can make carrying out everyday tasks easier.

Fall prevention

The following strategies can help prevent falls:

  • getting regular exercise
  • having regular eye and hearing tests
  • knowing whether any medications are causing side effects such as drowsiness
  • getting enough quality sleep
  • limiting or avoiding alcohol use
  • getting regular blood pressure checks
  • using assistive devices, such as a cane, when necessary
  • taking extra care when walking on wet or icy surfaces
  • wearing low-heeled, nonslip shoes, including slippers with nonslip soles

It is important to let a healthcare professional know about any falls. They can make any necessary adjustments to a treatment plan and provide guidance about prevention.

Calcium and vitamin D

Having a diet with enough calcium and vitamin D is important in preventing bone loss. A person might add calcium-rich foods and drinks to their diet, such as:

  • dark green, leafy vegetables, such as collards, bok choy, and turnip greens
  • broccoli
  • low-fat dairy products
  • sardines and salmon
  • calcium-fortified foods and drinks, such as soy milk, orange juice, and cereals

The skin absorbs vitamin D through sunlight. Some foods also contain vitamin D, such as:

  • fatty fish and fish oils
  • egg yolks
  • liver
  • vitamin D-fortified foods and drinks, such as milk and cereal

Anyone who is not getting enough vitamin D may need to take a supplement.

The NIH recommends the following daily amounts of calcium and vitamin D for older adults:

  • Males aged 51–70: 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day
  • Females aged 51–70: 1,200 mg of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D per day
  • Everyone over 70: 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D per day


Certain medications may help slow down or prevent bone loss in people with senile osteoporosis. Some examples of these drugs include:

  • bisphosphonates
  • calcitonin, after menopause
  • hormone therapy, after menopause
  • a parathyroid hormone analog
  • a sclerostin inhibitor

Some strategies for preventing senile osteoporosis may include:

  • keeping physically active
  • doing regular weight-bearing exercise, such as tennis, dancing, or weight training
  • improving balance through tai chi or yoga, for example
  • eating a calcium-rich diet and getting enough vitamin D
  • avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • taking steps to reduce the risk of falls, such as those outlined above

Senile osteoporosis causes bone loss, which increases the risk of fractures. Treatment and self-care strategies can slow the progression, help prevent bone weakness, and reduce the risk of fractures.

Lifestyle and dietary changes can also protect against further bone loss and reduce the risk of falls.

Let a healthcare professional know about:

  • a broken bone, even if it is from a minor fall
  • any change in posture, such as stooping or hunching
  • back pain
  • significant height loss

Senile osteoporosis is bone loss that results from aging. It can develop in any older adult, especially over the age of 70.

A fracture from a minor fall or injury may be the first sign of senile osteoporosis. Medications and dietary and lifestyle changes can help prevent further bone loss. Taking steps to prevent falls is also key in reducing the risk of fractures.