|Osteoporosis Is a Guy Thing, Too
USA Weekend Magazine, May 13, 2007
by Susan T. Lennon
Mention "osteoporosis" and most people think "women." Yet millions of men have this bone-thinning disease or are at risk to get it, says the National Osteoporosis Foundation. And men, who are "underserved and unrecognized," according to orthopedic surgeon John Skedros, M.D., are more likely than women to die after an osteoporotic hip fracture.
Now, a simple screening questionnaire that's known to work for women has just been validated for men, too. Skedros, who led the research at the Utah Bone and Joint Center in Salt Lake City, says the test "should help surgeons and all other doctors become involved in the diagnosis and treatment of this largely preventable disease."
You can find the two-minute survey at teambone.com/osteo/osteo.html. If you are at risk, then ask your health care provider for a bone density screening. Medicare covers much of the cost for qualified individuals.
What's the big deal about decreased bone bulk? Breakability. If today's trends continue, then broken hips may become an epidemic among aging baby boomers, Skedros says. A devastating injury, a hip fracture can occur without major trauma. The bone could break just by a man or woman falling from a standing height.
The more bone risks you have, the more likely you are to develop osteoporosis.
Men and women, you're at risk if you:
Have a small frame
Are Caucasian or Asian
Take high doses of thyroid or asthma medication (glucocorticoids) for more than three months
Eat a diet low in calcium
Are physically inactive
Drink alcohol to excess