Osteoporosis is a degenerative condition that causes bones to weaken and sometimes break. Many people believe osteoporosis to be a “woman’s disease,” but according to the National Institutes of Health, 2 million American men were diagnosed with the disease and 12 million more are at a high risk for developing it during their lifetime.
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Men represent close to one-fifth of osteoporosis cases in the world. More likely to be diagnosed in their late lives, men are unlikely to recognize the development of the condition until pain causes the bone to break, claims orthopedic surgeon Joshua Pratt. “Bone density scans are carried out routinely in women, but men aren’t likely to think about osteoporosis until a fracture has occurred,” Pratt explains.
The National Institutes of Health says that six percent of men over the age of 50 will sustain a hip fracture, and five percent will experience a spinal fracture from osteoporosis.
Commonly referred to as the “silent disease,” because patients are not normally diagnosed until the condition is in advanced stages, and “the forgotten disease,” because men often overlook the condition. Women are required to get bones scans once the reach the age of 50. The Dexa scan measures bone mineral density in the spine and hips; the origin on most osteoporosis fractures.
Data suggests that men have thicker bones in their younger life, resulting in a general lower risk of osteoporosis. Pratt says “Men tend to have a higher peak bone mass in their 20s and 30s, so they are starting out at a higher level.” Men also engage in more impact-heavy activities, which allows them to strengthen their bones and prepare for stress.
The best guidance to prevent osteoporosis is:
- Get checked annually.
- Exercise regularly
- Choose a balanced diet, rich in calcium and vitamin-D
- For smokers- quit smoking
For more information on how to slow down the development of to prevent osteoporosis, contact a ONE Brain and Spine Center physician today. Located in Irvine, our California based Center is available to all brain and spine patients in surrounding areas.
ONE Brain & Spine Center is the premier spine and brain center in Irvine, California, offering minimally invasive spine surgeries and minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (949) 383-4190.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.