How Vulnerable Are Men to Osteoporosis ?

Men don’t suffer from osteoporosis as often as women, but they are indeed vulnerable. The International Osteoporosis Foundation says that the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 is 30 percent, similar to the lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation:

• About 20-25 percent of hip fractures occur in men. The overall mortality is about 20 percent in the first 12 months after hip fracture and is higher in men than women.
• Vertebral fractures may cause equal morbidity in men and women. Hip fractures in men cause significant morbidity and loss of normal functioning.
• Although the overall prevalence of fragility fractures is higher in women, men generally have higher rates of fracture related mortality.
• As in women, the mortality rate in men after hip fracture increases with age and is highest in the year after a fracture. Over the first six months, the mortality rate in men approximately doubled that in similarly aged women.
• Forearm fracture is an early and sensitive marker of male skeletal fragility. In aging men, wrist fractures carry a higher absolute risk for hip fracture than spinal fractures in comparison to women.
• In Sweden, osteoporotic fractures in men account for more hospital bed days than those due to prostate cancer.
• 30 percent of hip fractures and 20 percent of vertebral fractures occur in men.

On a more general basis:
* 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures occur every year
* 10 million Americans suffer from it
* 34 million Americans have low bone mass (osteopenia)
* 40 percent of white women over 50 will have a hip, spine or wrist fracture in their lifetime
* By 2020 50 percent over age 50 will have, or be at high risk of developing osteoporosis

What can you do to protect yourself from this disease? Pam Whitfield, MS, RD, LDN CDE of Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group says that you need adequate calcium, Vitamin D and weight-bearing exercise to be able to protect yourself from osteoporosis.

Speaking at a Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program ® gathering, Ms Whitfield described the most vulnerable in the population at risk as:

* Slender, inactive women who smoke are most at risk
* Asian, European ancestry have a higher risk
* Those with a family history of osteoporosis
* Women more than men (4 to 1)


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Filed under aging, osteoporosis

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