Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the skeleton to weaken and the bones to break. It poses a significant threat to more than 2 million men in the United States. One in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their remaining lifetime.
Despite these compelling figures, surveys suggest that a majority of American men view osteoporosis solely as a “woman’s disease.” Moreover, among men whose lifestyle habits put them at increased risk, few recognize the disease as a significant threat to their mobility and independence.
|Osteoporosis is called a “silent disease” because it progresses without symptoms until a fracture occurs.|
Clearly, more information is needed about the causes and treatment of osteoporosis in men, and researchers are turning their attention to this long-neglected group.
For example, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health are studying how much the risk of fracture in men is related to bone mass and structure, biochemistry, lifestyle, tendency to fall, and other factors.
The results of such studies will help doctors to better understand how to prevent, manage, and treat osteoporosis in men. This fact sheet describes the highlights of what is already known.