Watch Out: Men get osteoporosis, too

Osteoporosis (OP) is often considered a woman’s disease because it is true that more women than men end up with OP.

However, as men age, we also lose bone, and the problem for aging men with OP is that family docs often overlook that possibility in their aging male patients and since men don’t pay nearly enough attention to their health, this poses real but avoidable risks for many men.

How often is OP overlooked in men?

Well, acording to a recent report, elderly women are three times more likely to be investigated for OP and three times more likely to be treated with the medications that can reduce the risk of fracture, and hence lower their risk of both disability and premature death.

So, if you’re an aging gent (and aren’t all men simply “aging gents” or at the very least, “aging gents-in-waiting”), please don’t ignore OP and do all you can to prevent it- weight-bearing exercise, not smoking, good diet, weight control are the most important controllable factors – and then once you reach an age when OP might be lurking – that would be anything north of 65, and with a family history of OP, even earlier for some guys – be sure to find out about which screening tests you may need.
And then most important, of course, you also have to go get those tests.

And please note this as well, since your doctor may forget to flag it: If you suffer any fracture once you’re into middle age and especially beyond midlife, then an OP evaluation is, ahem, “man”datory.