This year World Osteoporosis Day is focusing on osteoporosis in men. Around 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease which gradually weakens the bones, which can lead to bones breaking after even a minimal bump or minor fall.
What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?
- Age (70rs + or 50ys + if you’ve broken a bone since turning 50)
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Long-term use of oral corticosteroids
- Certain other medications (visit http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org/real-men for more details)
- Some chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Celiac’s disease, diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease, amongst others.
- Low testosterone levels (hypogonadism)
- Being over 50
- Menopause / post menopausal
- Family history of the disease
- Low body weight / being small & thin
- Broken bones or height loss
People under the age of 30yrs are the group most able to make a difference to their bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis through;
- Regular weight bearing exercise
- Eating a diet that includes recommended levels of calcium & vitamin D (a list of beneficial foods can be found at: http://nof.org/foods)
- Not smoking or stopping smoking
- Not drinking too much alcohol
Further information and support
The National Osteoporosis Society have produced a comprehensive guide for men, women and children.
The World Osteoporosis Day Website has lots of information for men and patient stories.