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1 in 4 men has osteoporosis, yet most underdiagnosed

Pearl Toh
16 Oct 2017

About one in four men in the Philippines had osteoporosis but many were underdiagnosed, with old age (>70 years), history of fracture, and family history of osteoporosis being the main risk factors of developing the condition, according to a study presented at the AFOS 2017 Annual Meeting.

“Osteoporosis in men similarly contribute to significant morbidity and mortality-associated fractures. However, these are commonly underdiagnosed and undertreated with still considerable limited studies,” noted co-authors Drs Ma. Imee Esquibel and Julie Li-Yu of University of Santo Tomas Hospital and De Los Santos-STI Medical Center in Manila, Philippines, respectively.

The retrospective study involved 219 men (mean age 64.58 years, 33.3 percent overweight and 11 percent obese) who underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital in the Philippines. [AFOS 2017, abstract PC25]

Based on DXA scanning, 39.7 percent had low bone mass or osteopenia, 26 percent had osteoporosis, and 19.2 percent had severe osteoporosis. According to the researchers, the overall prevalence of osteoporosis of 26 percent was consistent with data from Europe, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil.

“Similarly to women, osteoporosis in men is underdiagnosed due to lack of evident symptoms especially among the elderly,” observed Esquibel and Li. 

Among the risk factors studied, age of >70 years (incidence, 64.8 percent; p=0.012), family history of osteoporosis (4.6 percent; p=0.044), and history of fracture (21.5 percent; p<0.001) were significantly associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis in the male cohort.

Other risk factors such as inadequate calcium intake (33.9 percent), smoking (32 percent), and weight loss of >10 percent (incidence, 30 percent) were not significantly associated with increased osteoporosis risk in the cohort.   

“This study showed that men less than 60 years old had comparable prevalence to those more than 70 years old especially those with risk factors. This suggests that clinicians might need to screen males younger than 70 years old especially those with risk factors,” said Esquibel and Li.

 

 

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