Osteoporosis is more common in women. It affects about 25% (1 in 4) of women aged 65 and over and about 6% (1 in 17) of men aged 65 and over. While men experience about half as many osteoporotic fractures as women, osteoporosis is not just a woman’s disease.
Men are less likely to get the health of their bones checked even when they have significant risk factors such as a previously broken bone, being underweight, and smoking. It is important to be aware of the other factors that put men at risk for osteoporosis. Risk factors include health conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), celiac disease, and medications often used to treat prostate cancer, depression, and acid reflux. Screening for osteoporosis is recommended for every man over age 70 and for those ages 50 and up who have one or more risk factors.
There are steps you can take to improve your bone health and strengthen weak bones:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D
- Perform weight-bearing exercises regularly
- Do not smoke
- Limit alcohol use
Don’t wait until you have a broken bone to take steps to improve your bone health—you can start at any age!