Osteoporosis Affects Men Too

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Osteoporosis Affects Men Too

Osteoporosis affects men too – Osteoporosis gets plenty of press with older women, but older men would do well to assess their risk for this disease. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bone density loss in both women and men. Its progression is silent, and without screening, it usually becomes evident when the person suffers a fractured bone from a low-impact activity. More than half, 55%, of all senior adults in Canada have osteoporosis. Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined

Fast Fact About Osteoporosis in Men

More men over the age of fifty (one in four) will suffer from a broken hip due to osteoporosis than will get prostate cancer.

While osteoporosis appears to affect fewer senior men than women (one in five men compared with one in three women), the consequences for men are more severe. For example, older men are more likely to die within a year of having a hip fracture due to bone loss. Unfortunately, due to a lack of understanding of the disease, older men are also less likely to be diagnosed with and receive treatment for osteoporosis after a fracture occurs. Considering this, men over 50 may want to be proactive and find out if they have osteoporosis so they can receive treatment for it before a fracture occurs. They can start by assessing their risk.

Photo of a pair of hands with the affects of osteoporosis

The same factors that place women at risk also increase the risk of osteoporosis in men, Comfort Keepers can help.

Higher risk include those with the following:

  • Family history of bone fractures, especially hip fractures, due to osteoporosis
  • Smoking
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Certain medications used over prolonged periods of time, such as corticosteroids, sedatives, antidepressants, and medications that inhibit the absorption of calcium
  • Low body weight and weight loss
  • Loss of height
  • Abnormally low levels of sex hormones
  • Gastrointestinal disorders that prevent the absorption of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamins D and K, phosphorous, and amino acids (all essential for bone health)

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Older men who have any of these factors should discuss their risk with their doctors and request a screening, although there is some controversy as to whether those test results can be interpreted the same for men as for women. They can also make lifestyle changes that will help decrease their risk, including decreasing alcohol intake, stopping smoking, increasing activity levels, and doing weight-bearing exercises. Any dramatic lifestyle changes should only be done, however, after consulting with a medical professional. By taking action early, older men can tackle osteoporosis before it causes significant bone density loss and help ensure they stay independent and active longer.

Comfort Keepers® Can Help

Comfort Keepers can help. Our caregivers can provide wellness support, remind clients to take medication, provide transportation to scheduled appointments, and support physician-prescribed exercise regimens and diets. As part of an individualized care plan, caregivers can let a senior’s care team know if there are changes in behavior or physical characteristics. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.

To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your the Comfort Keepers Comfort Keepers® Edmonton office today.

Bonus Article – What to Expect With Home Care

 

References

Osteoporosis Canada.  Facts and Figures. Retrieved from http://www.osteoporosis.ca/osteoporosis-and-you/osteoporosis-facts-and-statistics/

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (May 2009). Osteoporosis and bone health. AAOS Now. Retrieved from http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/may09/clinical8.asp.

International Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.). Facts and statistics. Retrieved from  http://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics.

National Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.). Just for men. Retrieved from http://nof.org/articles/236.

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases–National Resource Center. (January 2012). Osteoporosis in men. Retrieved from http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/osteoporosis/men.asp.

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