1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Those statistics surpass the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Men are also frequently older than women when they experience their first fracture, making it more likely to have severe consequences or death. Given these facts, there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding osteoporosis in men. We are setting the record straight and debunking some of the most common myths so men can be aware of their risk and get the help they need.
What is Osteoporosis?
Bones continuously renew themselves by making new bone and breaking down the old stuff. In our younger years, our body makes new bone faster than it breaks down the old bone, increasing our bone mass. As we age, that process reverses, and bone mass is lost more quickly than it is created. In osteoporosis, bones become porous, brittle, and prone to fracture.
Symptoms are not typically noticeable in the early stages. Once your bones have been weakened, you may experience back pain, loss of height over time, stooped posture, and bones that break easily. How much bone mass you developed when you were young partly determines the risk for developing osteoporosis, while hormones, family history, medication use, and dietary factors are others.
Misconceptions About Men and Osteoporosis
Misconceptions mean possible missed valuable early intervention. Millions of men are unaware of their risk for osteoporosis, and some of these common misconceptions are to blame.
- Woman’s Disease- Men get it too. 1 in 5 men versus 1 in 3 women develops osteoporosis.
- Natural Part of Aging- Breaking a bone after a simple fall or bump, is NOT typical, no matter the age.
- Minimal Impact – Men are twice as likely to die following a hip fracture than women. Osteoporosis-related fractures are associated with reduced function and mobility and a decrease in the quality of life in older men.
Treatment Can Help
Osteoporosis medications can help put the brake on the bone breakdown so that the bone growth process can catch up. If caught early enough, sometimes it can be managed with diet and lifestyle changes. Talking with your doctor about your risk will help identify any testing and treatment that needs to be done.
Centex is currently conducting clinical research studies looking into new options for men diagnosed with osteoporosis. To learn more about the study happening at our Houston and McAllen locations, click here.