Osteoporosis causes the thinning and weakening of bones, often resulting in painful breaks or fractures. It is commonly regarded as a condition that mostly affects women, but a recent study in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery states otherwise. In fact, 1 in 4 men over 50 years old will suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis.
A bone density test can determine if you suffer from osteoporosis. This test is routinely performed on women in their 60s, but rarely on men.
Broke or fractured wrists and hip bones are typical causes of osteoporosis. Wrist fractures are the earliest of the fragility fractures and tend to be a precursor to a more serious hip or spine injury.
According to this study, hip fractures in men can be particularly dangerous as they have twice the mortality rate of women during the initial hospitalization and first year after a hip fracture.
Men should be more aware of the possibility of osteoporosis if they have suffered from a wrist or hip injury. In conjunction, doctors should educate men about the warning signs - such as these types of breaks or fractures, or an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle that can diminish bone strength.
Osteoporosis prevention tips for men include:
- Performing weight-bearing exercises
- Jogging, running, or other high-impact activities to improve bone density
- Maintaining a healthy vitamin D and calcium intake