Posted on 27 July 2022

Men with osteoporosis more likely to die than women, study finds

Men with osteoporosis are more likely to experience complications of the disease and die in hospital than women, a new study has found. The authors are calling for greater research, guidance, and management targeted at men.

Osteoporosis is considered by many to be a “disorder of postmenopausal woman,” say academics. A woman aged of 50 is 30% of women likely to experience a fracture caused by experience osteoporosis. Men of the same age have a 13-25% chance of developing osteoporosis.

While women are more likely to experience fractures, men are twice as likely (10% compared to 5%) to die in hospital.

Osteoporosis-related fractures and breaks cost the NHS over £1bn a year. Behind every statistic is a person whose life is forever changed by a fall, fracture, or break.

The authors suggest that men should make lifestyle changes, including achieving a healthy weight, giving up smoking, cutting back on alcohol, and ensuring the body gets the vital vitamins it needs – including calcium and vitamin D.

“Supplementation with vitamin D and calcium are important components of bone health maintenance,” say the authors. “We recommend a daily calcium intake of 1000mg, if not enough is available from a patient’s diet, and at least 800 UI/day of vitamin D, more if a patient is found to be deficient,” they say.

The authors suggest that the diagnosis of osteoporosis in men must improve. This, suggest the author, can be achieved by changing from the FRAX method to MORES. MORES uses age, weight, and history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to predict the risk of osteoporosis in men over 50.

It’s been established that this is a more reliable predictor of osteoporosis, successfully identifying men with osteoporosis in 96% of cases. Those scoring highly for risk on the MORES scale should receive a DEXA scan.

The authors suggest that the MORES scan could be more effective at diagnosing osteoporosis. “Using a screening tool with higher sensitivity, such as the MORES score, will aid detection,” say the authors.

They hope that doing so could reduce the burden of treatment on the NHS for male osteoporosis. Early diagnosis is important as the sooner osteoporosis is diagnosed, medical professionals can begin treatment.

When it comes to treatment, doctors should continue to prescribe medication to strengthen bones and help reduce the risk of fractured and falls.

At Stronger Bones, we’re helping men and women get the essential vitamins they need. We have a range of vitamin D, calcium, and other supplements that can help improve bone health. You can save up to 20% off shop prices and save even more by subscribing.

We’re proud to be helping to protect the bone health of Britain.

You can read the full study, Morbidity associated with osteoporosis significant in older men, here.

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