RadioMD: The Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

Osteoporosis: Why Are Men Rarely Screened?

November 7, 20149 min
Up to 25 percent of men over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, and one-third of hip fractures are in men.Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs when your bones lose their density, become fragile and are more likely to break or fracture. Osteoporosis has long been considered a woman's disease, but new findings prove otherwise.According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are 54 million Americans that have low bone density or osteoporosis. In fact, about one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.Why is this disease considered primarily a "woman's issue" when one in four men over 50 could break a bone due to osteoporosis?A new study conducted by doctors at Harvard Medical School that's published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery revealed that older men are less likely than women to get osteoporosis screening and treatment after a fracture.In the study, doctors looked at the medical records over a five-year span of 344 women and 95 men over the age of 50 and treated for a wrist fracture at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Including age factors, or a history of fractures, doctors concluded men were 9.7 times less likely than women to receive a bone density scan after a wrist fracture occurred.What can you do to help prevent osteoporosis?If you are worried about your chances of developing osteoporosis, you might want to consider decreasing alcohol intake, incorporate calcium supplements, light weight baring exercises, changing your diet to more wholesome foods, quit smoking, and ask for a bone density test at your doctor's office.What else do you need to know about osteoporosis in men?Dr. Chadd Kraus discusses the new findings within the study, and why men are at a higher risk for osteoporosis.

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