Last week while attending a two-day Osteoporosis Seminar in Tampa, FL with my physical therapist wife, I asked a number of professional attendees why doctors seem to only subscribe to a bone density test for post-menopausal women over age 50 but seldom, if ever, for men? They could not come up with an clear answer to my question?
However, bone-health experts are now making a push to reduce rates of osteoporosis with a particular focus on controlling the bone-wasting disease in men.
Osteoporosis is commonly thought of as a women’s disease, but as many as one in four men in the U.S. over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of the condition, more than will have prostate cancer, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. By comparison, one out of two women will break a bone from osteoporosis. The disease also is a common cause of hip fractures, and men are twice as likely as women to die in the year after suffering a broken hip, says the Switzerland-based International Osteoporosis Foundation. The IOF made men the focus of World Osteoporosis Day in October and released an in-depth report called “Osteoporosis in Men: Why Change Needs to Happen.”
An important goal is to get greater numbers of men to be tested for osteoporosis when they come to a hospital or clinic with a fracture to the wrist, vertebrae or other bones that wasn’t from a major accident or trauma. Doctors call this a fragility fracture—one that results from a decrease in bone density.
Bone tissue is always breaking down. When it isn’t replaced fast enough, bones become less dense and prone to breakage, even with a relatively minor fall or bump. Tests for osteoporosis include a bone-density scan, a type of X-ray of the hip, wrist or spine, and blood or urine tests to check calcium and vitamin D levels.
Bone density declines gradually as people age, and especially for women after menopause. Factors like family history and lifestyle contribute to people’s risk for getting osteoporosis
The National Bone Health Alliance, a public-private partnership managed by the nonprofit National Osteoporosis Foundation, is nearing completion of a year-long pilot project at three hospitals to test programs called fracture-liaison services that make bone-density tests routine for patients over 50 with fragility fractures.
Such tests currently are recommended in the treatment guidelines of various medical groups.
Osteoporosis, commonly thought of as a women’s disease, also affects many men.
- Osteoporosis occurs when bone tissue breaks down faster than it is replaced, causing bones to become less dense and more likely to fracture.
- A broken bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis. Breakages are most common in the wrist, spine or hip.
- About half of women over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. As many as one in four men will suffer a breakage.
- Men are twice as likely as women to die in the year following a hip fracture.
- Bone density, which peaks between ages 20 and 30, declines with age and especially in women after menopause. A bone density test, a type of X-ray, can diagnose osteoporosis.
- The higher your bone density was at its peak, the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis.
For more information on reducing the damage of Osteoporosis in your life, go to: https://www.build-better-bones.com/
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Every year there are 2 million fractures caused by Osteoporosis/Osteopenia. Find out what you can do today.