Osteoporosis & Men

canstockphoto6235141What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, which means “porous bones,” is a condition that causes bones to gradually thin and weaken, leaving them susceptible to fractures. About 2 million fractures occur each year due to osteoporosis.   Source:  What is Osteoporosis? – WebMD

Oftentimes, when we hear or read  about Osteoporosis we connect this condition to women who can experience bone loss during menopause. However, in a recent New York Times article it states: Men experience about half as many osteoporotic fractures as women. But when a man breaks his hip because of osteoporosis, he is more likely than a woman similarly afflicted to be permanently disabled and twice as likely to die within a year. Source: Men Get Osteoporosis, Too – The New York Times

Below is a summary of some key issues that should be addressed and focused on by men:

  • Men with prior incidents, where bones were broken, can be at risk for oseoporotic fracture, and should have their bones checked. Every man over 70 should have a bone density test.
  • Osteoporosis should no longer be considered a disease solely of women.  Men can also lose bone as they age.  For example, almost 30 percent of all hip fractures occur in men.
  • Being underweight, smoking, and the number of alcoholic drinks per day are common risk factors for osteoporotic fractures in men.
  • Medications, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease are some of the issues that increase risk.
  • There is a tool (FRAX) developed by the World Health Organization, which can evaluate risk of an osteoporotic fracture.
  • Calcium, vitamin D, exercise with weight-bearing and resistance, in addition to non smoking can all help to keep osteoporosis from becoming harmful.

Take a moment to read the full article for detailed information.

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