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Geriatrics. 1999 Sep;54(9):20-2, 27-8, 30 passim.

Osteoporosis in older men: discovering when and how to treat it.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.


Nearly 1.5 million American men age 65 and older have osteoporosis, and another 3.5 million are at risk. Hip fractures in older men have a higher mortality than in women and represent a growing medical problem. Glucocorticoid treatment, hypogonadism, and excessive alcohol consumption are important secondary etiologies for loss of bone mass in men. Detection of hypogonadism may be difficult, and testosterone replacement is indicated for only a well-defined subset of patients. Because of a lack of data on pathogenesis, risk factors, and therapeutic interventions in men, treatment decisions are usually based on extrapolation from studies in women. None of the medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women has been approved for use in older men, but physicians are prescribing bisphosphonates and calcitonin.

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