The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) recently released a report ahead of World Osteoporosis Day (October 20) entitled: “Osteoporosis in men: why change needs to happen”.
Data in the report suggests that worldwide, men are twice as likely as women to die following a hip fracture, citing mortality rates as high as 37% during the year following a hip fracture. Currently, 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporatic fracture. The authors of the study warn that as the number of men over the age of 50 is set to rise dramatically, more men than ever before are at high risk of early death or a life of pain due to an osteoporatic fracture.
An undertreated disease in men
The report claims that men are the weaker sex when it comes to bone health simply because the healthcare system is failing to address their bone health. In the United States, one study showed that men with osteoporosis were 50% less likely to receive proper treatment for their bone health compared to women.
Healthcare systems are more focused on cancer and cardiac health for men. Yet, Professor John A. Kanis, President, IOF points out that "It is estimated that the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 years is up to 27%, higher than that of developing prostate cancer.”
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder that results in a decrease in bone density, which can lead to vertebral compression fractures, hip fractures, and deformity (kyphosis) with complications that can lead to death.
The good news is that osteoporosis is preventable and treatable. Certain medications and increasing vitamin D and calcium in your diet can help keep your bones healthy.Weight bearing exercises can help make bones stronger.
Though osteoporosis is often thought of as a woman's disease, the experts at the International Osteoporosis Foundation are sounding the alarm that men are falling through the cracks when it comes to being diagnosed and treated for this disease. On World Osteoporosis Day, let's be sure to share this information with the men and women we love who are at risk.