More than two million American men today have osteoporosis, and another three million are at risk. Find out when you should be screened for osteoporosis.
Statistics reveal that each year older men suffer one-third of all hip fractures and experience spine and wrist fractures due to osteoporosis as well. Unfortunately, this silent disease usually progresses without symptoms until diagnosed following one of these fractures.
Health warnings about osteoporosis in postmenopausal women have led many to believe this disease, which gradually weakens bones and leads to painful, often debilitating fractures, doesn’t affect men. Guidelines issued within the past year by the American College of Physicians bring new awareness to the fact that more than two million American men today have osteoporosis, and another three million are at risk.
Osteoporosis risk factors for men include:
- Being over 70 years of age
- Having low bodyweight or recent weight loss of more than 10 percent
- Lack of regular physical exercise
- Use of certain medications such as corticosteroids
The new guidelines recommend that older men be screened periodically with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA test) to measure bone density. Men concerned about osteoporosis should speak with their physician about risk factors and appropriate next steps.