Osteoporosis in Women and Men


Comparing Osteoporosis in Women and Men

If you think that osteoporosis and bone loss are conditions that only affect women, you’re wrong. But there are differences in the way that men and women lose bone density. In women, osteoporosis starts earlier and hormonal changes cause osteoporosis to worsen at a faster rate, but after men and women turn 65, they lose bone density at the same rate. And although thinning bones is more common in women, men are not immune to osteoporosis. Here are some quick osteoporosis facts:

  • Two million American men have osteoporosis.
  • Millions more of American men have osteopenia, a disease that has similar symptoms of and is closely related to osteoporosis.
  • The number of men affected by osteoporosis is expected to increase to approximately 20 million by the year 2020.
  • 25 percent of men that are over the age of 50 will suffer from a broken bone at some point in their lives.
  • Osteoporosis contributes to more than two million bone fractures every year.

Low Testosterone is a Factor

It has been shown that males with hypogonadism, a condition characterized by abnormally low testosterone levels, are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. There are also other conditions that also seem to increase men’s vulnerability to osteoporosis, like psoriasis, which has been linked to the loss of bone density in men.

There are some prescription drugs that affect the bone mass of both women and men. Long-term cortisone treatment has been associated with loss of bone mass. Drugs such as Nexium, Prozac, Paxil and Prevacid all come with risks; they have been studied and linked to bone loss.

Bone Health Advice For Men and Women

There are many lifestyle changes that both men and women can make to improve and/or prevent osteoporosis. Things like smoking and drinking can cause bones to weaken. Exercise is still a good idea for anyone who wishes to strengthen their bones. Vitamin D is also essential for bone strength, and you should get at least 800 to 100 international units of Vitamin D per day.