Osteoporosis, often perceived as a predominantly female condition, is a significant health concern for men too. In the UK, the statistics are sobering: over 812,000 men are living with osteoporosis, and 21.7% of men over 50 are estimated to have the condition. This figure illustrates a critical need for increased awareness and improved management of osteoporosis in men.
One of the critical challenges in addressing osteoporosis in men is the lack of awareness, both among the general population and healthcare professionals. This gap in understanding leads to late diagnoses and suboptimal treatment, contributing to poorer outcomes in men compared to women. Men often overlook the possibility of having osteoporosis, and clinicians may not always consider it in their assessments, especially if the patient presents without the typical risk factors.
In men, osteoporosis can be associated with specific medical conditions and risk factors, including:
- Hormonal Changes: Just as women experience a decrease in estrogen during menopause, men experience a gradual reduction in testosterone levels as they age, which can affect bone density.
- Chronic Diseases: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease are linked with an increased risk of osteoporosis in men.
- Medication Use: Certain medications, such as long-term use of glucocorticoids (steroids), can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle are significant risk factors.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Insufficient calcium and vitamin D intake, vital for bone health, also contributes to the risk.
The London Osteoporosis Clinic is at the forefront of tackling this under-recognised issue. Our holistic approach encompasses the latest pharmaceutical treatments and tailored lifestyle modifications. We emphasise the importance of early screening and intervention, especially in men with risk factors or associated medical conditions. Through comprehensive evaluation and management, we aim to improve bone health outcomes for men.
The projected increase in fragility fractures in the UK by over 26% between 2019 and 2034 underscores the urgency of addressing osteoporosis in men. As healthcare providers, we aim to enhance awareness, ensure early diagnosis, and provide practical, evidence-based treatments. We are committed to changing the narrative around osteoporosis in men, ensuring they receive the attention and care needed for better bone health and overall well-being.
For men who may be at risk or are experiencing symptoms suggestive of osteoporosis, it’s crucial to seek medical advice. The London Osteoporosis Clinic is dedicated to providing comprehensive care and guidance for men on their journey towards improved bone health.