Osteoporosis, not just a woman's disease

July 20, 2011 2:31:47 PM PDT
Osteoporosis or "porous bone" is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.

Osteoporosis leads to an increased risk of bone fractures typically in the wrist, hip, and spine. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, it's estimated that about half of all women older than 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Up to one in four men will too.

By 2025, experts predict that osteoporosis will be responsible for approximately three million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year. (Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation)

WHAT MEN NEED TO KNOW: Even though women are at greater risk for getting osteoporosis, as our population ages, more men will get it too. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates about 80,000 men break a hip each year, and they are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip.

There are several factors that can put men at risk for getting osteoporosis including: family history, taking steroid medications, not exercising, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or having low testosterone levels.

The prevalence of osteoporosis is estimated to be 7 percent of white men, 5 percent of African American men, and 3 percent of Hispanic men. These figures are expected to grow as the population ages within the next 15 years.

NEW GUIDELINES: The American College of Physicians has issued new guidelines to bring awareness to osteoporosis screening in older men:

  • Clinicians should periodically assess older men for risk of osteoporosis.
  • Clinicians should obtain DXA tests for men who are at an increased risk for osteoporosis and candidates for medication treatment. The DXA test (dual-energy X-ray absorptiomerty) measures bone density.
  • More research is recommended to assess screening tests for osteoporosis in men.

For More Information, Contact:

Omar Montejo/Media Relations
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

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