Think osteoporosis only happens to women? Think again. This "silent" disease affects men, too. According to the CDC, osteoporosis affects about 1 in 20 men over age 65. Osteoporosis can weaken bones to the point that a break can occur more easily. Broken hips are especially serious, causing patients to be unable to live on their own - and significantly raising their risk of dying sooner.
Protect your bones and your long-term health! Learn more about risk factors, diagnosis and prevention tips for osteoporosis men.
Men in their 50s do not experience the same rapid loss of bone mass that post-menopausal women, but by age 65 or 70 calcium absorption (essential for bone health) decreases in both sexes. That's when osteoporosis becomes an increasingly larger risk for men. In fact, 1 in 8 men over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture.
- Age - The older you are the higher your risk
- Testosterone deficiency
- Taking certain medications for chronic conditions (corticosteroids, heparin, anti-seizure drugs, prostate cancer drugs, etc.)
- Low intake of calcium and vitamin D
- Smoking and excessive alcohol intake
- Sedentary lifesyle
- Heredity and race (white men seem to be at greatest risk)
- Loss of height or change in posture
One of the reasons osteoporosis is call "the silent disease" is because it shows no symptoms. Patients realize they have it when they sustain a broken bone. What can you do? If you're over age 50, ask your doctor about screening tests. In addition to x-rays, urine and blood tests, he or she may also order a bone mineral density test. This painless, non-invasive and safe test can identify osteoporosis and determine your risk for fractures.
Both men and women reach peak bone density by their early 20s. That's why good nutrition and calcium intake is so important for children and adolescents. So, what can you do as you get older? Two words: Live healthy!
- Avoid smoking and consume alcohol in moderation.
- Stay active to promote healthy bones and muscles.
- Ensure an adequate daily intake of calcium and vitamin D.
- Discuss bone health with your doctor - especially any medications you might be taking that are known to cause bone loss, such as glucocorticoids.
Ready to learn more? Come see the bone health experts at Orthopedic Institute. Our team is trained in musculoskeletal diseases and treatments. We'll help you understand your risks before you experience a fracture or a major surgery such as hip replacement.