Men are not being adequately diagnosed or treated for osteoporosis, according to a new report.
Data published by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) shows that one-third of all hip fractures worldwide occur in men, and their mortality rates are as high as 37% in the first year following fracture. This means that men are twice as likely as women to die after a hip fracture, the organisation said.
The IOF pointed out that osteoporosis is often mistakenly considered a woman´s disease, but in fact osteoporotic fractures affect one in five men over the age of 50.
The number of people suffering such fractures is predicted to rise dramatically as the world´s men are ageing fast. Between 1950 and 2050 there will have been a 10-fold increase in the number of men affected aged 60 years or more – an astonishing rise from 90 million to 900 million – and this is the age group most at risk of osteoporosis.
According to Professor John A. Kanis, president of the IOF, it is estimated that for men over 50 the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture is up to 27%. That´s higher than the risk of developing prostate cancer.
The research was published ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Monday 20 October.
Separately, the National Osteoporosis Society released a report illustrating the reality of life with osteoporosis, showing how the condition can lead to dramatic changes in body shape and depression caused by living with long-term pain, unemployment, social isolation and failed relationships.
One in four people with osteoporosis who were of working age at diagnosis have had to give up work, change their job or reduce their hours, the society said.
It also highlighted just how many people suffer from the condition: more than three million people in the UK are affected by osteoporosis, and across the country a fracture occurs every two minutes in people over the age of 50.
The National Osteoporosis Society is calling for people to talk about osteoporosis and help raise the profile of the condition.