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Men Can Get Osteoporosis Too

Research shows that men may be slipping through the cracks and not diagnosed with bone loss.

Physicians generally pay close attention to post-menopausal women with bone loss. It is routine to order DEXA scans for osteoporosis, and recommend calcium and vitamin D. Meanwhile men with osteoporosis are slipping through the cracks and may not be diagnosed with bone loss until after sustaining a fragility fracture – often a life changing event, said Dr. Chad Weber.

Osteoporosis now affects one in four men. By ages 65-70, men lose bone mass at the same rate as post-menopausal women, making their bones fragile and more likely to fracture. Men who sustain a fragility fracture also suffer more severe consequences. "Their quality of life and ability to return to their pre-level function is worse compared to women," he said.

Studies show that only 20 percent of men with a hip fracture have been diagnosed with bone loss beforehand. Because the number of fragility fractures in men is rapidly increasing, family physicians should consider applying the same osteoporosis screening principles for men as they do for women.

Dr. Weber outlined some red flags for men who might be at risk for osteoporosis:

  • Men taking corticosteroids, prostate cancer drugs or anti-seizure drugs, or men with unhealthy lifestyles or chronic diseases affecting the kidneys, may be at risk.
  • A man's parents who sustained a fragility fracture.
  • A man who has had a previous fragility fracture
  • Dr. Weber suggests men should talk to their family physician if they have any of these red flags---before they end up in his office with a fracture.

Chad Weber, DO is a fellowship-trained and board-certified, orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedic Associates of SW Ohio. He specializes in orthopedic surgery and trauma care. We have offices throughout the Miami Valley region to provide convenient, high quality orthopedic care to the community.

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