3 key issues for men and women to know about osteoporosis

3 key issues for men and women to know about osteoporosis

Tanya Grenade, 30 October 2023

Osteoporosis is when your bones become thin and more likely to break.

Millions of people around the world are affected by osteoporosis. It affects more older people as risk increases with age. But it is NOT a natural part of ageing.

Knowing about osteoporosis can help you recognise the signs so you can take action to improve your bone health to prevent fractures.

So here are 3 key issues to know about osteoporosis:

1. There are no symptoms of osteoporosis only signs

You can’t feel your bones getting weaker this is why it is known as a “silent” disease.

Osteoporosis is usually diagnosed when there’s been a fracture. Here are some signs that will help you to notice if you might have osteoporosis:

  • Severe back pain
  • Spine has become curved
  • You have lost height.

If you notice these signs please speak to your doctor.

2. It affects women more than men

1 in 2 women aged over 50 will have a fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime

Women tend to have smaller and weaker bones than men. So they are more likely to break a bone.

Then later in life, the hormone oestrogen decreases during menopause which speeds up bone loss. Up to 20% of bone loss happens during menopause.

3. But men are underdiagnosed

1 in 5 men over 50 get a fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime

Men can be forgotten as osteoporosis is seen as a women’s issue. Men’s bones are stronger than women’s so their bone strength does not decrease as quickly as women’s. Therefore, men tend to get fractures 10 years later than women.

At this older age, men may be in poorer health. Which makes men twice as likely than women to die from a fracture.

Knowing about osteoporosis can help you recognise the signs to take actions to improve your bone health and prevent fractures.

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