Osteoporosis: Not just a 'women's disease'

Osteoporosis: Not just a 'women's disease'
Image: © Nevit Dilmen found at Wikimedia Commons
Osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones, is not just a women's disease. Men just tend to get it around 10 years later than women.

Weakened bones can result in serious fractures. In fact, according to Dr. John Swartzberg at the University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter, men who have hip fractures are more likely to die as a result than women.

"Not because you die of the fracture, but because it incapacitates you," he says. "You wind up needing surgery, you're in the hospital and have complications."

Most women should have a bone density test for osteoporosis around the age of 65, earlier if there are risk factors.

Swartzberg says men should have a bone density scan of their hip and spine around the age of 70.

"If you've had unexplained fractures or if you have a strong family history, then this is something you should probably talk about with your doctor," he says.

Men who've been on steroids, like cortisone, for a long time may also need early screening - before age 70, because steroids can weaken your bones.

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More Info: Osteoporosis in Men