Men Twice More Likely to Die Post Hip Fracture: Study

First Posted: Oct 09, 2014 06:30 AM EDT

A new report reveals that men face a two-fold mortality risk after a hip fracture as compared to women.

Hip fractures are a common cause of morbidity and mortality among the elderly and treatment for the same is very expensive. This has become a major public health issue due to the increasing ageing population. Known as broken hip in other terms, this injury affects older people who have underlying osteoporosis.

The latest data published by the International Osteoporosis Foundation revealed that one-third of the hip fractures worldwide occur in men and the mortality rate is as high as 37 percent in the first year following a fracture, indicating men are two times more vulnerable to dying after a hip fracture as compared to women.

Lead author of the report, Professor Peter Ebeling, said, "In the EU, projections suggest that by 2025 the total number of fractures in men will increase by 34%, to almost 1.6 million cases per year. In the USA the number of hip fractures among men is expected to increase by 51.8% from the year 2010 to 2030, and in contrast the number among women is expected to decrease 3.5%. A battle is set to rage between the quantity and quality of life. We must act now to ensure men not only live longer but also have a future free of the pain and suffering caused by osteoporotic fractures".

Osteoporosis experts highlight that men are often left undiagnosed and untreated, which leaves them vulnerable to early death and disability, irrespective of the type of fracture they've suffered.

The report - which is published just in time for the World Osteoporosis Day on October 20 - highlights that men's ability to live an independent pain-free life in old age is being underestimated. If this trend continues, then millions of men will be severely dependent on long term care with health and social care systems.

Often mistakenly considered as a women's disease, osteoporotic fractures is known to affect 1 in 5 men aged 50 years and above. The experts, however, expect a dramatic rise in this number as the men worldwide are ageing fast. From 1950-2050, the number of men aged 60 years is going to increase by 10 percent from 90 million to 900 million.

Professor John A. Kanis, President IOF, said: "It is estimated that the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 years is up to 27 percent, higher than that of developing prostate cancer. Yet, an inadequate amount of health-care resources are being invested in bone, muscle and joint diseases. We have proven cost-effective solutions available, such as Fracture Liaison Services that can help identify those at risk and avoid a continuous cascade of broken bones. People should not have to live with the pain and suffering caused by osteoporosis as we can help prevent and control the disease."

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