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Common problems for men and women

                                                                      Osteoporosis is a condition that affects both men
                                                                      and women, where bones become so porous and
                                                                      fragile that they can break very easily. This is a
                                                                      common condition that affects people of all
      Picture: © Africa Studio / Shutterstock                         wrist, spine and hip, as a result of osteoporosis.
                                                                      ages, but particularly those in midlife. In the UK,
                                                                      one in two women and one in five men over the
                                                                      age of 50 will break a bone, commonly in the

                                                                      These broken bones can result in considerable
                                                                      pain, disability and loss of independence.

                                                                      After the age of 35, bone loss increases very
                                                                      gradually as part of the natural ageing process.
                                                                      This bone loss becomes more rapid in women for
                                                                      several years following the menopause and can
                                                                      lead to osteoporosis. The female hormone
                                                                      oestrogen has a protective effect on bones.
                       Cardiovascular disease                         During the menopause, the ovaries almost stop
                                                                      producing this hormone, reducing the protection
                       Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) affect the heart
                       and/or blood vessels, and can cause blood flow  it gives to bones.
                       to the heart, brain or body to be reduced as the
                       result of a blood clot or a build-up of fatty  The risk of developing osteoporosis can be
                       deposits within the lining of the body’s arteries.  reduced by taking plenty of weight bearing
                                                                      exercise and eating a well-balanced, calcium-
                                                                      rich diet, not smoking and reducing alcohol
                       There are four main types of CVD: coronary heart
                       disease, strokes, peripheral arterial disease and  intake.
                       aortic disease.
                                                                      Should you have concerns that you may be at
                                                                      risk, seek the advice of your GP.
                       Cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by
                       implementing a number of lifestyle changes such  The NHS may be able to offer a scan which
                       as not smoking, eating a balanced and healthy  measures bone density. It is a simple, painless
                       diet, regular exercise and only drinking alcohol in  procedure and is recommended for those
                       moderation.                                    considered to be at high risk of breaking a bone
                                                                      due to osteoporosis and may need drug
                                                                      treatment to strengthen their bones.
                              For more information, see the
                             NHS Choices webpages on CVD, or          The National Osteoporosis Society has more
                    ’s CVD webpages.           information on this topic.
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