Should Men be Tested for Osteoporosis?


Although osteoporosis is more common in women, men account for 30 to 40 percent of fractures caused by osteoporosis and have a higher mortality risk following a fracture, according to the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation.

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone density which can lead to an increased risk of fractures. Because bones are living, growing tissue, the risk for osteoporosis increases as we age since bone density decreases over time.

Up to 1 in 4 men over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends bone density testing for men 70 and older, or younger if they have risk factors for osteoporosis. Risk factors include age, race, family history, body frame size, thyroid problems, history of eating disorder or low calcium intake.

Bone density tests are used to diagnose and monitor osteoporosis. A bone density test includes a low-dose of X-rays in a quick, noninvasive way to measure the amount of calcium and other minerals in a segment of bone. With the results of these tests, your health care provider can determine your risk of fractures.

Steps you can take to keep bones strong:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet, emphasizing your calcium and vitamin D intake
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid smoking
  • Limit alcohol to two to three drinks per day
  • Include foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet that promote bone health

Think you may be at risk of developing osteoporosis? Talk to your primary care provider about your risk level and how to improve overall bone health. If you do not have a primary care provider, visit UofL Health – Primary Care to find a provider near you.

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Article by: Andrew Duffee, M.D.

Andrew Duffee, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician with UofL Health – Orthopedics. A native of Louisville, Dr. Duffee received his medical degree from University of Louisville School of Medicine. He also completed a fellowship in orthopedic sports medicine at Ohio State University. His goal is to see all patients regain function and return to their activities. Dr. Duffee has a passion for high school athletics and is involved with sports teams in Shelby County.

All posts by Andrew Duffee, M.D.
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