Osteoporosis – Not Just for Women Anymore

Read Time: 3:48
Published: Aug 18th, 2020
Osteoporosis – Not Just for Women Anymore

Most people are well aware that Osteoporosis is a significant health concern for women. One in three women age 50 and older are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture. Osteoporosis, which means 'porous bone,' reduces your bones' quality and density.

The main concern is hip fractures and vertebral fractures. These fractures will require surgery and can result in the need for long-term health care and even death.

Many people are unaware that men can be impacted by the loss of bone density and suffer from Osteoporosis's consequences. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says that up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to Osteoporosis.

The Foundation lists the following facts:

  • Approximately two million American men already have Osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk.
  • Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to Osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
  • Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.
  • Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip, usually due to complications of the break.
  • Men can break bones in the spine or break a hip, but this often happens later than women.

Osteoporosis Attacks Silently

One of the problems with Osteoporosis is it is often silent. Generally, until you break a bone you may not be aware you have the disease. While women will have bone density tests, many usually starting in their early to mid-50s, men often fail to do so … usually, because it is not discussed with doctors or family.  

Osteoporosis in men can be related to family history. However, there are other reasons some men develop bone density problems that put them at risk. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases lists the following causes of Osteoporosis in men:

  • Glucocorticoid medications.
  • Other immunosuppressive drugs.
  • Hypogonadism (low testosterone levels).
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Gastrointestinal disease.
  • Hypercalciuria.
  • Anticonvulsant medications.
  • Thyrotoxicosis.
  • Hyperparathyroidism.
  • Immobilization.
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta.
  • Homocystinuria.
  • Neoplastic disease.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Systemic mastocytosis.

Men’s Osteoporosis Risk Factors

The National Institute of Health says there are several risk factors as well that men should be concerned with when it comes to bone density loss. 

Men who suffer from chronic diseases affecting kidneys, lungs, and intestines are at higher risk. Health issues that change hormone levels can also increase the risk.

Several medications can be programmatic. Men who suffer from asthma and allergies, for example, have often been treated with steroids and other glucocorticoids. Examples of glucocorticoid drugs include:

  • beclomethasone
  • betamethasone
  • budesonide
  • cortisone
  • dexamethasone
  • hydrocortisone
  • methylprednisolone
  • prednisolone
  • prednisone
  • triamcinolone

Men who suffer from low levels of testosterone are also at greater risk. Bad lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive alcohol use will also increase a man's risk of Osteoporosis.

Plus, age. Just the impact of getting older is a risk.

Osteoporosis Treatment is Often Successful

As many women know, the good news is you can successfully treat Osteoporosis, but you must know you have it to start treatment. Discussing your risks with your doctor is an essential conversation that men should have with their doctors as they get older.

In addition to calcium and exercise, many medications improve bone density. The medicines have reduced the risk of hip fracture by up to 40%. Vertebral fractures are reduced by 30-70%. Some drugs reduced risk for non-vertebral fractures by 15-20%, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

Men, like women, will often require long-term care due to Osteoporosis. Unless you have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, the costs of extended care will not be paid by health insurance or Medicare, including supplements. 

Osteoporosis and Long-Term Care

Typical health insurance pays a limited amount of skilled care, like rehabilitation care, following a surgery. The major of the care costs will be out-of-pocket unless you plan before you get older and need care services.

The problem is that too many people are unaware of or ignore the risk. Just like men are unaware they are at risk for Osteoporosis, many people fail to comprehend the risks of long-term care they will face at some point in their lifetime. Families should address the financial costs and burdens of aging before they retire.

Long-Term Care Insurance is an easy and affordable way to safeguard savings and income and reduce the stress otherwise placed on family members. Experts suggest the best time to obtain coverage is in your 40s or 50s before health condition limit or prevent your ability to obtain coverage.

About the Author

Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.

Editor's Note

The time to prepare for the financial costs and burdens of aging is before you get old. You want to enjoy a successful retirement in the decades ahead. You can safeguard savings and income and reduce the stress otherwise placed on those you love.

Long-Term Care Insurance is easy and affordable to obtain if you start planning when you still enjoy good health. Experts recommend securing coverage in your 40s or 50s. Generally, you will still enjoy good health and may qualify for good health discounts many companies offer.

Premiums are calculated based on the amount of coverage you wish to have, your age, health, and other factors, including family history. The premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage. 

Get Expert Help with LTC Planning

An experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will help you find the best coverage at the best value by shopping from among the top insurance companies that offer this coverage. 

Start your research by using the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. You will find the current and future cost of care where you live and other vital information. Click here to access the calculator. 

Find a trusted and qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist by clicking here.

Compare the major insurance companies that offer this type of coverage by clicking here.

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LTC News Contributor Linda Maxwell
Linda Maxwell

Contributor Since
December 11th, 2017

Former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in.

About the Author

Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.

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