Osteoporosis refers to decreased bone density i.e. more ‘porous’ and weaker bones. Those with weaker more porous bones are more at risk of fractures. While more common in women osteoporosis still has a high prevalence in men and remains a major health concern for older males. One in five men over the age of 50 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture, yet the identification of osteoporosis in men remains particularly poor and this may be because it is considered a predominantly female condition.
Although the majority of hip fractures (73%) occur in women, when men break a hip, they are significantly more likely than women to die or experience disability.
Common risk factors for osteoporosis include- poor dietary calcium intake, lack of weight bearing exercise, vitamin D deficiency, smoking, excess alcohol and medications such as corticosteroids and anti-epileptics. Other risk factors include a family history of osteoporosis, thyroid dysfunction, being underweight and being at risk of falls.
Low testosterone is a risk factor in osteoporosis and treatment with testosterone can improve bone mineral density. The EAU (European Association of Urology) recommends consideration of screening for concomitant osteoporosis in those men greater than 50 years old with established testosterone deficiency.
Men with sufficient risk factors should be screened. We are happy to discuss this further with you if you so wish.