Men Rarely Screened for Osteoporosis, Study Suggests

Men are three times less likely to undergo bone mass density (BMD) testing following a distal radial fracture compared to women, reports a new study. The findings were published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Tamara Rozental, MD, from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, retrospectively reviewed medical records of 95 men and 344 women >50 years of age who were treated for a distal radial fracture at a single institution from 2007–2012. Records were evaluated to determine if the patients had been screened for osteoporosis prior to their injury and/or if they received a dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan and osteoporosis treatment within six months post-injury.

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Twenty-one percent of men initiated treatment with calcium and vitamin D supplements within six months of injury compared to 55% of women, while only 3% of men initiated treatment of bisphosphonates vs. 22% of women. Male sex, less severe fracture patterns, and high-energy mechanism of injury were found to be independent predictors of failure to initiate treatment with calcium and vitamin D or bisphosphonates. Fifty-three percent of women underwent a DXA scan following injury and 18% of men; of these, 19% of women and 9% of men received a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Overall women were more likely to have a Type-C fracture compared to men (40% vs. 20%, respectively).

Men over the age of 50 with fractures of the distal radius should undergo BMD testing and evaluation to identify those at risk of future fracture and would benefit from osteoporosis treatment, the authors suggest.

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