Osteopenia Common in Men, Too

By Will Boggs MD

June 12, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - More than a quarter of men and women ages 35 to 50 have osteopenia, researchers report.

"The most surprising to see was that 28% of early-middle-aged men in this study are at risk for developing osteoporosis in the future," Dr. Vinayak K. Nahar from Lincoln Memorial University, in Harrogate, Tennessee, told Reuters Health by email. "Efforts must be made to identify individuals who are at higher risk of osteoporosis early."

The early-middle-aged population is understudied in osteoporosis and bone mineral density (BMD) research, and there are scant data for predicting their risk factors for osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Dr. Nahar and colleagues evaluated the likelihood of low BMD and its associated risk factors in 81 men and 92 women between the ages of 35 and 50 years with no previously known health issues.

Based on BMD measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), 23 men (28%) and 24 women (26%) had osteopenia at the femoral neck. And five men (6%) and two women (2%) had osteoporosis at the lumbar spine, the researchers report in the June issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Among men, more-frequent exercise was associated with lower femoral neck BMD, whereas in women, more frequent exercise was associated with higher BMD of the trochanter, the intertrochanteric crest, the total femur, and the lumbar spine.

Increased weight and body mass index (BMI) were associated with increased BMD in men and women, whereas there was no significant association between dairy intake category and BMD.

"Physicians have a role to play!" Dr. Nahar said. "They should take the time and actively educate not only female patients but also male patients about risk factors of osteoporosis and prevention strategies."

Those strategies, he said, include "weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, jumping rope, etc. Also, muscle-strengthening exercises like lifting weights are found to be beneficial."

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2QCvoVr

J Am Osteopath Assoc 2019.