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J Natl Med Assoc. 2005 May;97(5):714-7.

Elderly African-American and Caucasian men are infrequently screened for osteoporosis.

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  • 1Rheumatology Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC 20422, USA.



To retrospectively examine the factors that initiated a request for dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in elderly males in a rheumatology practice and to determine if there were differences between African Americans and Caucasians,


The records of 98 consecutive male patients in the rheumatology clinic were reviewed for demographic data and risk factors and treatment for osteoporosis. DXA results were noted and classified as normal, osteopenic or osteoporotic.


There were 59 (60%) African Americans, 38 (39%) Caucasians and one (1%) Native American included for study. Fourteen patients had DXA-three (5%) among the African Americans and 11 (29%) among the Caucasians. Age was not found to be a significant predictor of obtaining DXA. Caucasians were 7.69 times more likely to have a DXA than African Americans. After adjusting for ethnicity, oral glucocorticoid use and rheumatoid arthritis were significant predictors of obtaining a DXA, although only 31% and 35% of patients on glucocorticoids or with rheumatoid arthritis, respectively, had DXA. Using a logistic regression model, ethnicity (odds ratio 4.61) remained the only significant predictor of requests for DXA.


Male patients infrequently had DXA despite the presence of well-established risk factors for osteoporosis. Compared to Caucasians, fewer African Americans were screened even in the presence of similar risk factors for osteoporosis.

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