News & Commentary

Osteoporosis recognized as a problem for men, too


The aging population continues to move through the health care system like something a boa constrictor swallowed but can’t quite digest. Rates of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease all promise to increase as the population ages and improved technology cuts down on mortality. Next in line: osteoporosis in men. The ‘in men’ part is significant, according to a study by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, because the disease has usually been considered a woman’s disease. ‘It is estimated that the residual lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 is up to 27% higher than the lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer of 11.3%,’ says the study ‘Osteoporosis in Men: Why Change Needs to Happen.’

The study continues: ‘In terms of mortality related to fragility fractures, men fare particularly badly and are the ‘weaker sex’…. Hip fractures in men are associated with greater mortality compared to women, with rates as high as 37% in the first year following fracture.’

The osteoporosis crisis for men has been brought about by a ‘longevity miracle’: the 10-fold increase in the number of men over 60 in just a century.

The aging of the world’s male population 1950–2050

Source: Osteoporosis in Men: Why Change Needs to Happen, International Osteoporosis Foundation

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