The Risk Factors for Osteoporosis in Men are of Significant Concern


Millions of men have osteoporosis, yet most of them are undiagnosed. Although the perception that this potentially debilitating disease only affects women persists, the facts prove otherwise. Too often, men discover they have the disease when they suffer a fracture from a fall.

The risk factors for osteoporosis in men are of significant concern

  • Undiagnosed low levels of the sex hormone testosterone
  • Long-term use of certain medications, including steroids (common among athletes), some cancer treatments, and anticonvulsants
  • Chronic disease that affects the intestines, kidneys, lungs, and stomach and changes hormone levels
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Inadequate exercise
  • Low intake of calcium

Because osteoporosis is often overlooked in men, it is important for men to inform their physician about any change in posture, sudden back pain, or loss of height. Men older than 50 who have risk factors for the disease should be evaluated for the osteoporosis and may be ordered to undergo a bone mineral density test, a type of x-ray that can diagnose osteoporosis.

Men can take steps to prevent bone mineral loss and osteoporosis:

Concentrate on calcium

Men 50 and older need 1,200 mg daily.

Monitor medications

If you are taking any medications, talk to your healthcare professional to identify whether any of them are known to cause bone loss

Change unhealthy habits

Smoking, excessive alcohol use, and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to the development of osteoporosis.