Osteoporosis a Growing Risk for Men - Not Just Women

Men face a greater risk of osteoporosis than prostate cancer. Up to 1 in 4 men will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Being proactive with health and planning is essential.

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Osteoporosis a Growing Risk for Men - Not Just Women
3 Min Read April 3rd, 2017 Updated:May 15th, 2021

When we think of osteoporosis, we usually think of women. However, one in four men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis during their lifetime, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. 

Two million American men already have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk, according to the National Osteoporosis Association. Many people would be shocked to learn that men aged 50 and older are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.

Reasons Men Develop Osteoporosis

There are several reasons men are at risk for osteoporosis. Men who have low testosterone levels, use certain types of medications, or have chronic health problems of the kidneys, intestines, lungs, and stomach alters hormone levels which increases osteoporosis risk.

The end result of osteoporosis for both men and women is a higher risk of needing long-term health care. Broken hips and spine fractures are common reasons for long-term care.

If you are age 40 or over, you need to start thinking about your bone density and take precautions to protect yourself as best you can from osteoporosis. 

Treatment to Stop Bone Loss

The National Institute on Aging says the goal is to stop bone loss once it starts, hopefully rebuilding your bones and preventing the breaks. A better diet, exercise, calcium and Vitamin D supplements, and medications all can help.

Falls and fractures are very common among frail older adults requiring home health and long-term health care. Osteoporosis is a significant problem among older adults, with up to a 90% prevalence among nursing home residents. This number doesn’t count those receiving care at home due to bone density problems. 

For those who sustain a hip fracture, up to 75% require nursing home placement for rehabilitation or long-term care. Most of the remaining people receive home health care, resulting in over 2 million home health care visits for post-hospitalization fracture care annually.

Although the risk for fracture among nursing home and home health patients is already high, a prior fracture makes an exceedingly high risk for having a second fracture.

Bone Density Testing

Testing is required, and usually, both men and women will receive a DEXA scan. A Dexa scan is an imaging test. It will measure the strength of your bones (bone density). The results will show your risk for osteoporosis and future bone fractures. It also will measure your body composition (body fat and muscle mass). 

Harvard Medical School offers these tips for men - click here.

Being Proactive Benefits You and Your Family & Finances 

In addition to being proactive with your health to improve your bone density when you are younger, being proactive for the changes your wills ee with your health, body, and mind should be a crucial part of retirement planning.

People need long-term health care due to illnesses, accidents, or the impact of aging. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard your assets (401(k) IRA 403(b)) and ease the burdens long-term care otherwise places on your family. 

The cost of long-term health care continues to grow every year according to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - click here to see the current and future costs where you live.

Experts suggest planning when you are younger and healthier, ideally in your 40s and 50s. You will enjoy peace of mind knowing your savings are protected, and your family will never be forced into the role of being your caregiver in the decades ahead. 

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Both men and women are at risk for needing long-term health care. Women do live longer than men, but often a man will need long-term care before the woman. 

Caregiving is physically tough on spouses and adult children, in addition to being emotionally draining. When you own a Long-Term Care policy, your family won't have to worry about how to afford the best quality care for you, nor will they be forced into the role of being your caregiver.

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you access to your choice of quality care either at home or in a facility. Paid care services are expensive and can quickly drain estates, both large and small. 

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LTC NEWS offers many resources to assist you in finding the best care or pay for quality care in the future. If you or a loved one has a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and you need to find care and receive benefits, use the LTC NEWS claims page to assist you - click here.

You can use LTC NEWS resources to learn about planning, caregiving, health, and more. Find the resources by clicking hereThe Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is a great read as you research Long-Term Care Insurance.

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