Osteoporosis in Men

Osteoporosis is not just a significant health problem for women. Oteoporosis in men is  prevalent with aging men, yet the disease often goes undiagnosed or untreated until a bone fracture occurs, according to a paper published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

These fractures, which are treated primarily by orthopaedic surgeons, can play an important role in identifying men with osteoporosis so the disease also can be treated.

It is estimated that more than two million men in the United States have osteoporosis. According to the paper, which is an extensive review of the current literature on this disease, 30 percent of hip fractures occur in men, and those men have twice the mortality rate of women during the initial hospitalization and first post-fracture year.

One third of men who suffer a hip fracture lose independence and must move into a nursing facility or a relative’s home. With 77 million baby boomers aging, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of men with osteoporosis is crucial to preventing these fragility fractures.

Men who are most likely to have osteoporosis are those who are over the age of 75, have a low body-mass index, have lost more than 5 percent of their body weight during the previous four years, currently smoke and are physically inactive; at least 50 percent of the causes of osteoporosis in men can be traced to other diseases or lifestyle choices.

Men are more likely than women to have osteoporosis secondary to an underlying disease or metabolic problem.

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