Men are new target for osteoporosis treatment

Bone-health experts are making a new push to reduce rates of osteoporosis, with a particular focus on controlling the bone-wasting disease in men.

An important goal is to get greater numbers of men to be tested for osteoporosis when they come to a hospital or clinic with a fracture to the wrist, vertebrae or other bones that wasn’t from a major accident or trauma. Doctors call this a fragility fracture—one that results from a decrease in bone density.

A recent study of about 440 people over 50 years old found women were about three times as likely as men (53 percent versus 18 percent) to be tested using a bone-density scan after suffering a distal-radial fracture, or broken wrist, a common warning sign of early osteoporosis. The study, conducted by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

The National Bone Health Alliance, a public-private partnership managed by the nonprofit National Osteoporosis Foundation, is nearing completion of a year-long pilot project at three hospitals to test programs called fracture-liaison services that make bone-density tests routine for patients over 50 with fragility fractures.

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