Why Some Men Need Osteoporosis Screening

Osteoporosis affects many older men, and these men may be less likely to protect themselves from the condition

(RxWiki News) Osteoporosis is often thought of as an issue that only affects women because women are at higher risk than men. But that perspective isn’t just inaccurate — it could be dangerous.

A new study found that men were much less likely than women to prevent osteoporosis or get screened for the bone condition.

"In our environment, you just get this perception that osteoporosis is a women's problem,” said lead study author Irina Dashkova, MD, of North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York, in a press statement. “This has to be changed, and the sooner the better."

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weaker and more susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men, although anyone can develop the condition, especially older patients.

According to Dr. Dashkova and team, 1 to 2 million men in the US have osteoporosis.

For this study, Dr. Dashkova and colleagues surveyed 146 patients older than 50 during a four-month period. They found that 75 percent of women would get screened for osteoporosis if a test was offered. Among men, only 25 percent would do the same.

Men were also much less likely to take measures to avoid osteoporosis by taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. These supplements are thought to increase bone strength.

Doctors should recommend osteoporosis screenings for all older patients, Dr. Dashkova and team said.

“Current advances in medicine have successfully increased longevity worldwide; it is now our duty to ensure that older men reach these milestones with genuine quality of life,” Dr. Dashkova and team wrote.

This research was presented at the American Geriatrics Society 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting May 15 to 17. Research presented at conferences may not have been peer-reviewed.

Dr. Dashkova and team disclosed no funding sources or conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
May 14, 2015