New online test calculates osteoporosis risk for men, women


Although we think of osteoporosis as a women's disease sometimes linked to menopause, men can get it too. Now there's a new way to figure out if you're in danger of developing it.

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," said Dr. Sanford Baim, a rheumatologist.

Three million men in the United States 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," said Dr. Silvina Levis, and osteoporosis expert.

Male or female, a new online tool called the FRAX algorithm can predict your future risk of osteoporosis. Answer some questions about you and your medical history, then hit "calculate."

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

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

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.

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