Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.
Screening women for osteoporosis is now routine, however, when it comes to men, most are never screened and therefore suffer the consequences of the disease.
In the U.S., nearly 1.5 million men over 65 have osteoporosis, and another 3.5 million men are at risk for developing the disease.
The American College of Physicians recommends that men be assessed yearly for osteoporosis risk factors starting at age 50.
The primary risk factor for men is family history, such as women in their family with osteoporosis or parents who suffered a hip fracture.
Other factors that can raise a man’s risk of osteoporosis are prescription steroid use, gastrointestinal disease, use of prostate cancer drugs, and alcohol abuse.
At age 70, The Endocrine Society recommends that all men begin routine bone density screenings as the risk for osteoporosis increases at this age.
Researchers suggest that the osteoporosis treatment options for men are similar to those available for women.
There are several approved medications that alter the cycle of bone formation and loss to help preserve bone strength. The key is diagnosing the condition so treatment can begin.
If a man is diagnosed with osteoporosis, his physician can begin treatment and order additional screenings to identify causes of low bone density that can cause other medical issues, such as Vitamin D deficiency or low testosterone levels.
News source: Houston Methodist.
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