Screening for osteoporosis in men, comprehensive clinical practice guideline - american college of physicians [includes video]

Screening for osteoporosis in men, comprehensive clinical practice guideline - american college of physicians [includes video]

A new clinical practice guideline on screening for osteoporosis in males has been released by the ACP (American College of Physicians). Studies have revealed that osteoporotic fractures cause a significant number of diseases, raised health costs, and deaths among men.

Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, MHA, Senior Medical Associate, ACP's Clinical Programs and Quality of Care Department, said "Older men, especially those over the age of 65, need to be assessed regularly for risk factors for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is not just a women's disease. It is significantly underdiagnosed and undertreated in men. Not enough older men are being screened."

A patient with osteoporosis has low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to bone weakness and a significantly increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine and wrist.

According to the guideline, doctors should periodically assess the risk factors for osteoporosis among older men. Male patients who are at higher risk for osteoporosis and candidates for drug therapy should have a DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan.

Watch the video documentary that accompanies this article

The ACP says that additional research is needed to assess osteoporosis screening tests for men.

The following are risk factors for osteoporosis in men:

  • low body weight
  • weight loss
  • physical inactivity
  • previous fractures not caused by substantial trauma
  • ongoing use of certain drugs (such as corticosteroids like prednisone or drugs that are sometimes used to treat prostate cancer)
  • low-calcium diets
It is estimated that 7% of white men, 5% of African American men, and 3% of Hispanic American men have osteoporosis in the USA. However, as people are and will be living longer, the rate of male osteoporosis will probably go up by nearly 50% during the next 15 years, while hip fracture rates among males are expected to double by 2040.

The guideline was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, May 6th issue. It is based on a systematic evidence review of earlier studies.

"Screening for Osteoporosis in Men"

Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, MHA, Vincenza Snow, MD, Paul Shekelle, MD, PhD, Robert Hopkins Jr., MD, Mary Ann Forciea, MD, Douglas K. Owens, MD, MS

Link to page in Annals of Internal Medicine

Annals of Internal Medicine is one of the most widely cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. The journal has been published for 81 years and accepts only 7 percent of the original research studies submitted for publication. Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians, the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States.

ACP members include 125,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults.

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Section Issues On Medicine: Medical practice