May 8, 2008 -- The American College of Physicians has issued new guidelines to bring awareness to osteoporosis screening in older men.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become less dense, more porous, and more susceptible to fractures. It is commonly thought of as a problem for postmenopausal women, but it can also occur in men.
The American College of Physicians reports that the prevalence of osteoporosis is estimated to be 7% of white men, 5% of African-American men, and 3% of Hispanic men in the U.S. But the group says those figures are expected to grow as the population ages within the next 15 years.
Among the new guidelines:
- Clinicians should periodically assess older men for risk factors of osteoporosis.
- Clinicians should obtain DXA tests for men who are at increased risk for osteoporosis and candidates for medication treatment. The DXA test (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) measures bone density.
- More research is recommended to assess screening tests for osteoporosis in men.
Here are some of the main risk factors of osteoporosis for men:
- Age over 70
- Low body weight
- Recent weight loss of more than 10%
- Lack of physical exercise
- Use of some medications such as corticosteroids
The new guidelines are published in the May 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.