Researcher calls for increased male osteoporosis risk awareness

Osteoporosis is a significant public health problem for men, according to Nelson Watts, director of the University of Cincinnati Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center. However, when to screen men for osteoporosis is dependent on age and risk factors, Endocrine Today reports.

"Testing men at increased risk for osteoporosis seems to be sensible," said Watts. "Age is an important, independent risk factor and, without conclusive evidence, age 70 seems to be a reasonable time to start testing men who do not have other risk factors."

Risk factors that would necessitate earlier testing include fracture, medications known to increase fracture risk such as glucocorticoids, low testosterone and low estradiol.

Watts said the gold standard for osteoporosis testing is central DXA spine and hip imaging. Additionally, it can be important to conduct a serum testosterone level test when screening men for osteoporosis to check for other endocrine disorders.

When deciding on a treatment regimen, Watts said men with primary osteoporosis can be safely treated with bisphosphonates.

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 44 million Americans are at increased risk for bone fracture.
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