Scientists from the University of Sheffield found that osteoporosis in men is often overlooked by health care professionals.
They say raising awareness of the condition in men is desperately needed to help improve outcomes for patients.
The research is published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology and was conducted by Dr. Tatiane Vilaca et al.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones gradually weaken—a normal part of the aging process, but some people lose bone density much faster than others, making their bones more fragile, and at risk of needing hospital treatment for fractures.
Women are generally at higher risk of developing the condition, as their bone density declines more rapidly than men at an earlier age, especially following menopause.
Generally, diagnosis of osteoporosis happens when a patient presents at the hospital with some kind of fragility fracture in older age, for example falling from a standing height, and breaking a hip, wrist, or spine.
In most populations, men have larger and stronger bone and joint surfaces, so they can be overlooked when diagnosing the condition.
In the study, the team reviewed available data on the condition in men.
They found that they are generally diagnosed later, comply with treatment less, and present to the hospital at older ages than women.
Fatality rates from hospitalizations with fragility fractures, like a broken hip, are higher than in women.
The team says men hospitalized with hip fractures tend to be older than women, which could be because the condition develops more slowly in men.
As older people are usually slightly frailer, with poorer states of overall health, this could explain the slightly higher levels of disability and mortality associated with men with osteoporosis who are hospitalized following a fracture.
Osteoporosis affects over 3 million people in the UK and more than 500,000 people receive hospital treatment for fragility fractures every year as a result of the condition.
Treatment for the condition is based on preventing broken bones through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, alongside taking medicine to strengthen bones.
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