Primary Care Physician
Dr. Orrange received her BA in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters Degree in Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She received her MD from the USC Keck School of…
Screening for Osteoporosis in Men
Posted in Acne by Dr. Sharon Orrange on May 06, 2008

Let's be honest, for most of us when we think about osteoporosis we think it's a women's issue. Surprise! Six out of a hundred men over age 65 have osteoporosis.

So who do we screen and when? Men who are older than 70, have low body weight or weight loss and are not physically active are at risk for osteoporosis. Other factors that increase a man's risk are previous fractures, use of certain medications (prednisone or other corticosteroids, meds used to treat prostate cancer), diets low in calcium, and cigarette smoking.

Don't worry guys, it doesn't hurt a bit. The best screening test for men, as with women, is the DEXA scan. This test measures how dense bones are and is called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry . Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is a painless and noninvasive test that uses x-ray beams to measure soft tissue and bone thickness. Newer tests for osteoporosis screening like other x-ray techniques and ultrasound haven't been shown to be any better for screening than the DEXA.

Take Home Message: For our male patients the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends bone density screening with DEXA for men in their 50's or 60's who have the above mentioned risk factors for osteoporosis and are willing to take drugs (bisphosphonates like Fosamax, Boniva, etc) to treat it.

Dr O.


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I just found out that my 58 year old uncle was diagnosed 3 years ago. His only risk factor was that his mother had it. He has always been very physically fit, no smoking or anything like that. He got tested because his daughter noticed that he had become shorter and he had lost 1.5". My mother just got tested last week and has come back perfectly normal (she just turned 60). She hasn't been physically fit in many years (she used to be a small farm dairy farmer, so there was lots of work then, especially in the summer). She has been taking supplements and keeping up with her dairy consumption since her mother's diagnosis, so that is what we figure is keeping her healthy!
By findmydream  May 08, 2009
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