Osteoporosis is typically thought of as a woman’s disease, but elderly men are also prone to bone loss — even though they often aren’t treated for it, a new study finds.
Among men and women aged 80 and older, women were three times more likely to get osteoporosis treatment, researchers reported.
Ten million Americans have osteoporosis, according to the study. Each year, the disease causes 2 million fractures, costing $19 million. As the population ages, this could rise to 3 million fractures at a cost of $25 million by 2025.
A first-of-its-kind study reveals that, as we age, levels of a certain molecule increase, which silences another molecule that creates healthy bone. It also suggests that correcting this imbalance may improve bone health, possibly offering new avenues for treating osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis affects around 200 million women worldwide.
One in 3 women and 1 in 5 men aged 50 and above are thought to experience a bone fracture in their lifetime as a result of osteoporosis.
In the United States, estimates indicate that 44 million people over 50 live with the condition, making it a major public health issue.
A new treatment for osteoporosis provides major improvements in bone density and more effective protection against fractures than the current standard treatment. These are the findings of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The study is the first that compares the effect of two osteoporosis medicines on fractures.
“With the new treatment, we could offer significantly better protection against fractures and could thereby help many patients with severe osteoporosis,” says co-author of the study Mattias Lorentzon, Professor of Geriatrics at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, and Senior Physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
Alarming new data published today by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), shows that one-third of all hip fractures worldwide occur in men, with mortality rates as high as 37% in the first year following fracture. This makes men twice as likely as women to die after a hip fracture. Osteoporosis experts warn that as men often remain undiagnosed and untreated, millions are left vulnerable to early death and disability, irrespective of fracture type.
The report entitled ‘Osteoporosis in men: why change needs to happen’ is released ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on October 20, and highlights that the ability of men to live independent pain-free lives into old age is being seriously compromised. Continued inaction will lead to millions of men being dependent on long-term care with health and social care systems tested to the limit.
Often mistakenly considered a woman’s disease, osteoporotic fractures affect one in five men aged over 50 years. However, this number is predicted to rise dramatically as the world’s men are aging fast. From 1950-2050 there will have been a 10-fold increase in the number of men aged 60 years or more — rising from 90 million to 900 million — the age group most at risk of osteoporosis.