Osteoporosis: Not Just a Woman's Disease

FRESNO, Calif.

From bone density tests at the doctor's office to daily walks to make him stronger, Luciano Blanco has made some big changes ever since he got a surprising diagnosis.

"I thought my bones were perfect, and they were not. It was unbelievable," Blanco, who was diagnosed with osteoporosis, told Ivanhoe.

Most of what we see and hear about osteoporosis focuses on women, but men are at risk, too.

"Osteoporosis is a silent disease until you fracture, but again, even after a fracture, men are not identified as having osteoporosis," Sanford Baim, M.D., a rheumatologist at the UM Miller School of Medicine, told Ivanhoe.

3 million men in the U.S. have osteoporosis. Many more go undiagnosed. One-third of all hip fractures occur in men.

"Once a man fractures a hip, he has double the risk of dying after that hip fracture than a woman does," Silvina Levis, M.D., told Ivanhoe.

Male or female, an online tool called the Frax Algorithm can predict your future risk of osteoporosis.

"It absolutely then calculates your 10-year risk for any major osteoporosis fracture and hip fractures," Dr. Baim told Ivanhoe.

If your 10-year risk of major fracture is over 20 percent, or over 3 percent for hip fracture, talk to your doctor.

With daily walks, medication, and calcium supplements Blanco's bones are getting stronger.

"So, I hope I can still go on for some time," Blanco said.

A smart 79-year-old, taking steps to protect his bones and his health.

The Frax Osteoporosis Risk Tool was developed by the World Health Organization. It is most accurate for men and women between 40 and 90 years old, but anyone can take the online test.

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marsha Hitchcock at mhitchcock@ivanhoe.com.

Omar Montejo, Media Relations
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

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