Men get osteoporosis too.
Updated: May 6
According to stereotypes, it’s older women who get osteoporosis. And according to a University of Sheffield (UK) study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, that's also a stereotype that too many health care professionals buy into. Osteoporosis in men is something they often overlook, the study says.
It’s true that women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Their bones, which are smaller and thinner than men’s, start thinning earlier and faster, so the bone density loss is more apparent, sooner.
Men have larger and stronger bone and joint surfaces, which makes osteoporosis easier to overlook. Reviewing data on osteoporosis in men, the University of Sheffield researchers found that men are generally diagnosed and hospitalized at older ages, comply with treatment less, and have higher fatality rates when hospitalized with fragility fractures, like broken hips.
“As older people are usually slightly frailer, with poorer states of overall health, this could explain the slightly higher levels of disability and mortality associated associated in men with osteoporosis who are hospitalized after a fracture,” Dr. Tatiane Vilaca, the review’s author, explained.
“[F]urther studies of male patients could help improve current diagnosis systems, as well as resources for the education of primary care clinicians…on the early signs of osteoporosis in men,” her colleague Dr. Richard Eastell, Professor of Bone Metabolism, added.
Early warning signs of osteoporosis include family history, bone fractures, acute back pain, and loss of height. Both men and women can have these same signs, albeit at different ages, and men can be screened for osteoporosis at their primary care physician’s office,
Once diagnosed, diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and bone-strengthening medicines can prevent and slow the disease’s progression and help give men and women alike longer, healthier lives.
Osteoporosis care isn’t the only area where older men and women can get stereotyped – and, as with osteoporosis in men, stereotyping in senior care can be bad for your health.
That’s why, at Senior Insights, we go out of our way to avoid stereotyping. Our holistic senior care management plans are based on the principle that every individual client is different, each with different health, mental, and social needs and priorities.
When you contact us, the very first part of our holistic senior care management planning is a thorough three-part needs assessment in which we ascertain not only our clients’ and their families’ physical, emotional and environmental needs, but their values and priorities as well. What we learn becomes the basis of a custom-tailored, coordinated plan that provides exactly the care our client needs to keep living as independently as possible for as long as possible in the best possible health.