World Osteoporosis Day 2014: Real Men Build Strength from Within

World Osteoporosis Day is observed annually on October 20th and marks the beginning of a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. For 2014, the focus is on the fact that men can get osteoporosis even though it is often thought of as a woman’s disease. Led by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), the observance generates worldwide media and assists with public awareness campaigns organized by more than 200 national osteoporosis patient and medical societies from around the world with activities in over 90 countries.

Why men are the weaker sex when it comes to bone health
Alarming new data published on October 9th 2014 by the IOF, shows that one-third of all hip fractures worldwide occur in men, with mortality rates as high as 37% in the first year following fracture. This makes men twice as likely as women to die after a hip fracture. Osteoporosis experts warn that as men often remain undiagnosed and untreated, millions are left vulnerable to early death and disability, irrespective of fracture type.

The report entitled “Osteoporosis in men: why change needs to happen”, was released prior World Osteoporosis Day and highlights that the ability of men to live independent pain-free lives into old age is being seriously compromised. Continued inaction will lead to millions of men being dependent on long-term care with health and social care systems tested to the limit.
Often mistakenly considered a woman’s disease, osteoporotic fractures affect one in five men aged over 50 years. However, this number is predicted to rise dramatically as the world’s men are aging fast. From 1950–2050 there will have been a 10-fold increase in the number of men aged 60 years or more – rising from 90 million to 900 million – the age group most at risk of osteoporosis.

Men are the “weaker sex” in terms of death and disability caused by osteoporosis as their bone health is simply being ignored by health-care systems. A study from the USA has shown that men were 50% less likely to receive treatment than women. As governments and health-care systems focus on diseases such as cancer and heart disease, this ‘silent killer’ is not being recognized as a threat and affecting an increasing number of victims.