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Height Loss With Aging | Ask the Expert
After age 40, the average person loses about 1/2" of their height per decade. It happens because of gravity and wear and tear on bones, muscles and joints. Think of your skeleton as being made up of your ankles, legs, hips, spine, neck, skull and connective tissue between the joints. Over time, these bones and joints degenerate, and height is lost. A person’s lifestyle can affect their muscle mass, bone health and posture. <a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/medicallibrary/MedLibrary.page?medlib=1&section=healthinfo&page=article&sgml_id=hn-1050006">Bone loss</a> occurs after <a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/health/menopause/menopause_perimenopause.page">menopause</a> for women and at the same age for men. Decreasing estrogen and testosterone are important factors in bone loss known as <a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/medicallibrary/MedLibrary.page?medlib=1&section=healthinfo&page=article&sgml_id=tp23004spec">osteopenia</a>. Vitamin D, calcium and regular exercise are important for preserving muscle and bone mass. Too much bone loss is called osteoporosis, and bone building medication can halt this process in both men and women.
Osteoporosis,Bone, Joint & Muscle Health,

Question:

Why do some people lose height as they age? How much loss is too much?

Answer:

Toni Brayer, M.D.Toni Brayer, M.D.Internal Medicine, Medical Advisor for MyLifeStagesCalifornia Pacific Medical Center
Expert
Toni Brayer, M.D.Internal Medicine, Medical Advisor for MyLifeStagesCalifornia Pacific Medical Center

Dr. Toni Brayer has practiced Internal Medicine in San Francisco for over 20 years. She graduated Cum laude from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and she is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. Dr. Brayer has served as President of the San Francisco Medical Society and Chief of Staff at California Pacific Medical Center, and is currently the Regional Chief Medical Officer at Sutter Health, as well as the Medical Advisor for the MyLifeStages program . She is a known speaker and writer on a variety medical topics.

See Dr. Brayer's full profile

After age 40, the average person loses about 1/2" of their height per decade. It happens because of gravity and wear and tear on bones, muscles and joints. Think of your skeleton as being made up of your ankles, legs, hips, spine, neck, skull and connective tissue between the joints. Over time, these bones and joints degenerate, and height is lost. A person’s lifestyle can affect their muscle mass, bone health and posture.

Bone loss occurs after menopause for women and at the same age for men. Decreasing estrogen and testosterone are important factors in bone loss known as osteopenia. Vitamin D, calcium and regular exercise are important for preserving muscle and bone mass. Too much bone loss is called osteoporosis, and bone building medication can halt this process in both men and women.

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