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Men Get Osteoporosis, Too

Women are not the only ones who need to be concerned about the progressive bone loss and increased fracture risk that result from osteoporosis. Up to one in four men older than 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Despite this risk, older men are less likely than women to receive osteoporosis screening and treatment following a bone fracture, according to a study in the November 5, 2014 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

These are some startling statistics: More than 2 million men have osteoporosis, and nearly one-third (30 percent) of hip fractures occur in men. Men are twice as likely during the first year after hip fracture, compared to women.

Researchers of this latest study analyzed the medical records of 95 men and 344 women older than 50 who had been treated for a wrist fracture between 2007 and 2012. All were from the same institution.

They found that men were three times less likely than women to undergo bone mass density (BMD) testing after breaking their wrists and seven times less likely to start osteoporosis treatment.

Other findings, include:

• While 55 percent of women started taking calcium and vitamin D supplements within six months of their wrist injuries, only 21 percent of men took the supplements.

• While more than one-fifth of women started taking the bone mass building medications, called bisphosphonates, only three percent of men took those medications after their fractures.

• Half of the men who had a bone density test were found to be at risk for a second major fracture in the next 10 years, according to the World Health Organization’s online Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX).

• Men tended to have less severe fractures than women.

“Treating men for bone fractures, but not the underlying cause, places them at a greater risk for future bone breaks and related complications,” said study author Tamara Rozental, MD, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, Harvard Medical School. “The results of this study lead us to suggest that men over the age of 50 with fractures of the distal radius should undergo bone density testing and evaluation with the FRAX algorithm to better identify those at high risk for future fracture and those who would benefit from further treatment.”

One of the ways in which to maintain and build healthy bones is to engage in weightbearing exercises. Physical therapists are the exercise experts. For more information about how a physical therapist can help you prevent bone loss or prevent the risk of falls if you already have bone thinning or loss, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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