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Osteoporosis in the aging male: Treatment options

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Harish Datta


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In elderly women, loss in bone mass and micro-architectural changes are generally attributed to the onset of menopause. Men do not experience menopause, they do, however, experience age-related acceleration in bone loss and micro-architecture deterioration. The incidence of osteoporotic fractures in elderly men, just as in aged women, increases exponentially with age; the rise in men, however, is some 5-10 years later than in women. Up to 50% of male osteoporotics have no identifiable etiology; however elderly males have much higher likelihood of having an identifiable secondary cause than younger men. Therefore, clinical and laboratory evaluation of aged male osteoporotics must be thorough and should be aimed at identifying lifestyle or conditions contributing to bone loss and fragility. It is essential to identify and treat secondary causes and ensure adequate vitamin D and calcium intake before embarking upon treatment with pharmacological agents. The evidence from a limited number of trials suggests that bisphosphonates, especially alendronate and risedronate, are effective in improving BMD, and seem to be the treatments of choice in aged men with osteoporosis. In cases where bisphosphonates are contra-indicated or ineffective, teriparatide or alternatives such as strontium should be considered.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tuck SP, Datta HK

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Interventions in Aging

Year: 2007

Volume: 2

Issue: 4

Pages: 521-536

ISSN (print): 1176-9092

ISSN (electronic): 1178-1998



DOI: 10.2147/CIA.S820