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Older Men Less Likely to be Assessed and Treated for Osteoporosis

Feb 18, 2019 9:52 am

A study from the University of Washington in Seattle find that men with osteoporosis were less likely to be assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA); vitamin D measurements and were less like to receive calcium/vitamin D and bisphosphonate prescriptions. 

We compared osteoporosis case-finding, evaluation and treatment in groups of Older Men and Older Women with age alone as a significant risk for fracture and Older Men with Higher Risk (older men additionally having previous hip fracture, corticosteroid use or androgen deprivation therapy). We studied 13,704 older men and women (≥70 years old) receiving care at a Veterans Affairs medical center from January 2000 to August 2010 whose 10-year hip fracture risk was assessed by limited FRAX score.

The study included 13,704 older men and womenA a VA medical center who were assessed for 10-year hip fracture risk by FRAX score.  In men aged 75-79 and ≥80 years, a 10-year hip fracture risk ≥3% was 48% and 88%, respectively.

Compared to age matched women, fewer men underwent DXA (12% vs 63%) and 25-OH D measurements (18% vs 39%), and fewer received calcium/vitamin D (20% vs 63%) and bisphosphonate (5% vs 44%) prescriptions.

Even older men with a higher fracture risk (69% to 95%) had fewere DXA screens (27%-36%), 25-OH D measurements (23%-28%), or and received fewer calcium/vitamin D (40%-50%) and bisphosphonate (13%-24%) prescriptions.

These findings underscore the need for improved evaluation and management of osteoporosis in older men, especially those at high risk for fracture.


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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