Because of Family History, Is Osteoporosis Your Destiny? You’ve watched your mother, aunts, and grandmothers age — and witnessed their broken hips or curving spines. You may think that you can’t do anything about your osteoporosis risk. That’s just the way things go for the women in your family, right?

About 75 percent of your bone mass is determined by heredity, while another 25 percent is related to the choices you make throughout your lifetime. A strong family history is just “a red flag to take preventive measures,” says Liselle Douyon, MD, clinical assistant professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. Whether you’re male or female, if osteoporosis runs in your family, ask your doctor about getting screened and making lifestyle changes that can best protect your bones in the future.