Male risk for osteoporosis

A man's average bone mineral density (BMD) is higher than a woman's, and men have a lower risk for osteoporosis. All men, however, naturally lose bone mass as they age, and some men do develop osteoporosis, which can be devastating to an older man's health. Men who fracture a bone in their spine have a much greater risk of getting other fractures and losing their mobility.

Most men develop osteoporosis as a result of:

  • Smoking, which increases the rate of bone loss.
  • Not getting enough weight-bearing exercise.
  • Taking certain medications, such as corticosteroids (for example, prednisone).
  • Having low levels of the male hormone testosterone.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.

You can help to prevent osteoporosis by:

  • Getting enough calcium.
  • Getting enough vitamin D.
  • Doing regular weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, or lifting weights.
  • Cutting down on your use of alcohol.
  • Stopping smoking tobacco.

If you do have additional risk factors, you may want to talk with your health professional about your risk for osteoporosis.

Last Updated: November 21, 2008

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