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Reuters Medical News - for the Professional
Osteoporosis Shows Similarities in Men And Women

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Oct 26 - While osteoporosis in men has received much less attention than in women, male osteoporosis is becoming recognized as an important public health problem, according to researchers in Europe and the United States, and the condition in men shows certain important similarities to that in women.

In the October issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Dr. J. Y. Reginster of the Policlinique Universitaire L. Brull, Liege, Belgium, and colleagues in the Group for the Respect of Ethics and Excellence in Science, review the state of knowledge on male osteoporosis as background to anticipated studies of the treatment of the condition.

They note that following a search of the literature, they found that there is "at least twofold higher incidence of osteoporotic fractures in women than in men." Nevertheless, the data show "important points of concordance between both sexes for the relation between BMD and fracture risk in untreated populations."

The researchers explain that the gender variance in fracture risk appears to be due to quantitative differences in shared risk factors. For example, differences such as higher bone mineral density (BMD), higher body mass index, and lower rates of falls may play a part. Another factor is shorter life expectancy in men.

Age-related changes in BMD are similar in elderly men and women, Dr. Reginster and colleagues say. However, there is a "lack of data on the effect of changes in BMD and bone turnover resulting from pharmacological intervention on fracture rates in men." It remains to be seen whether "a drug having shown an antifracture efficacy in women might also reduce fracture risk in men."

Ann Rheum Dis 2000;59:765-772.

Reuters Copyright 2000 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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