Assessing Osteoporosis Risk For Older Men

June 2017

General Practitioners

Country of origin: UK

Osteoporosis is a serious health issue for men, as well as for women, yet it's "substantially underdiagnosed, undertreated and underreported" among male patients, according to a new clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians, or ACP. The guideline strongly recommends that doctors periodically evaluate their older male patients for osteoporosis risk factors and order dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA, for men at increased risk who would be willing and able to take drugs to treat the condition.

The guideline is intended as a call to action for primary care doctors, says Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, MHA, senior medical associate in the ACP Clinical Programmes and Quality of Care Department.

"ACP decided the guideline was needed because osteoporosis is a major public health issue for men, and it's becoming a bigger problem as the population ages," says Qaseem.
"Studies show that osteoporotic fractures result in substantial disease, death and health costs in men. The one-year mortality rate in men after hip fracture is twice that in women."

The prevalence of osteoporosis is estimated to be 7 percent in white men, 5 percent in black men and 3 percent in Hispanic men, the ACP guideline says; data are not available for other ethnic groups.

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