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Osteoporosis in Men

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis and Fractures in Men

Even though bone loss in men usually occurs later in life compared with women, men can still be at high risk for osteoporosis. By age 65, men catch up to women and lose bone mass at the same rate. Additional risk factors such as a small body frame, long-term use of corticosteroids (medications prescribed for a wide range of diseases, including arthritis, asthma, Crohn disease, lupus, and other diseases), or low testosterone (or sex hormone) levels can increase the risk of osteoporosis in men.

It is estimated that by 2025, the total number of hip fractures in men will be similar to the current number reported in women. Perhaps because men are generally older than women are when they have a fracture, men are often more severely disabled. As with women, the hips, spine, and wrists are the most common sites of fracture. The complications and death caused by hip fractures is 3 times higher in men than women.

Recommended Related to Osteoporosis

Understanding Osteoporosis - Prevention

Want to learn more about osteoporosis prevention? Read on to find out how you can prevent bone loss and debilitating fractures by making some simple lifestyle changes.

Read the Understanding Osteoporosis - Prevention article > >

Risk factors for bone loss and fractures include:

  • Certain drugs (corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, heparin, excessive thyroid replacement, certain cancer therapies)
  • Chronic disease that affects the kidneys, lungs, stomach, and intestines and alters hormone levels
  • Undiagnosed low levels of the sex hormone testosterone
  • Lifestyle habits
    • Smoking
    • Low calcium intake (see Osteoporosis and Calcium)
    • Inadequate physical exercise
  • Increasing age
  • Heredity
  • Race (Of all men, white men appear to be at greatest risk for osteoporosis. However, men from all ethnic groups develop osteoporosis.)

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on May 06, 2014

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