Men and Osteoporosis

Being Male Isn't an Osteoporosis Defense

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Most people consider Millions of men have osteopenia, which is a decrease in bone mass but not to the extent that it's osteoporosis. This does, however, mean they're at risk of developing osteoporosis as they age.
Portrait Of Mature Businessman Suffering From Back PainTwelve million American men over the age of 50 are at risk for developing osteoporosis.

  • Hip fractures are more serious in men than in women—men are more likely to die within a year if they have one.
  • Men tend to develop spinal fractures at a later age than women; the older you are when you get a fracture, the more difficult it is to recover.

Below are some common osteoporosis causes and risk factors:

  • Using certain medications, especially steroids
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking and consuming large amounts of alcohol
  • Having low testosterone levels (just as estrogen protects women's bones, testosterone protects men's bones)
  • Other medical conditions, such as prostate cancer or rheumatoid arthritis
  • A family history of osteoporosis and/or personal history of fractures

Osteoporosis affects millions of people—men and women. Don't make the mistake of thinking that your gender protects you from developing osteoporosis—it doesn't. If you believe you're at risk for developing osteoporosis, it's important to talk to your doctor. He or she will test your bone mineral density (BMD) to determine if a course of treatment is necessary.

You can also take our osteoporosis risk quiz. The earlier you understand your risk, the greater the chance you'll prevent fractures later on.

Updated on: 05/03/17
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Osteoporosis Condition Center
Isador H. Lieberman, MD, MBA, FRCSC
The osteoporosis epidemic is upon us. All those who led a sedentary lifestyle, did not pay attention to adequate calcium intake, and who smoked in their teen and adult years over the 1960?s, 1970?s and 1980?s, will experience some form of osteoporosis related consequences. As the above article outlines, men are no exception. The good news though is that there are ways to avoid osteoporosis and the related consequences by very simple means. Along with motherhood and apple pie, regular exercise, appropriate calcium and vitamin D supplementation, and cessation of smoking, will go a long way to turning the epidemic tide.
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Osteoporosis Condition Center

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