Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2011 Aug;3(4):191-200.
Osteoporosis has finally been recognized as an important disorder in men. Men have osteoporotic fractures about 10 years later in life than women. Owing to increasing life expectancy, more fractures are predicted. Important risk factors for men include advancing age, smoking or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, glucocorticoid therapy, and androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Other groups at risk for osteoporosis include those with alcohol abuse, men on enzyme-inducing antiseizure drugs, and those with malabsorption or history of surgery for peptic ulcer disease. History and physical examination will likely reveal secondary causes of osteoporosis.
Some, but not all organizations, recommend screening for osteoporosis in men older than age 70. In the USA, The Department of Veterans Affairs recommends case finding rather than screening. Evaluation starts with bone mineral density testing by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry of the spine, hip, and in some cases forearm.
A few laboratory tests can be helpful, including measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Most studies of osteoporosis therapy in men are small; but alendronate, risedronate, zoledronic acid, and teriparatide are FDA-approved to increase bone density in men with osteoporosis. A new potent antiresorptive agent, denosumab, increased bone density dramatically in men on androgen deprivation therapy and is approved for this indication in Europe. Recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis in men should lead to fewer fractures and probably fewer deaths.
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