An Overview of Male Osteoporosis

Melissa A. Burmeister, PhD; Timothy K. Fincher, PhD, RPh; Anthony M. Todd, PharmD; Kristopher G. Virga, PhD; Mary M. Maddox, PharmD Candidate 2022


US Pharmacist. 2021;46(6):18-24. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Osteoporosis is characterized by aberrant bone remodeling that results in reduced bone mineral density, excessive bone loss, and increased fracture risk. Although osteoporosis most commonly affects postmenopausal women, it also occurs in older men. Some of the risk factors associated with male osteoporosis are age 70 years or older, reduced testosterone, sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, and medications that impair healthy bone turnover. Osteoporosis is undertreated in men, and screening is not routine. Given that men experience decreased quality of life and have an increased mortality risk following a traumatic fracture event, it is imperative for pharmacists to be aware of risk factors, causes, and pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic management of male osteoporosis in order to counsel this patient segment.


Osteoporosis is characterized by dysregulated bone turnover wherein the rate of osteoclast activity (bone loss) outpaces that of osteoblast activity (bone production).[1] Osteoporotic bone is weak and brittle, which increases the risk of fracture and related complications (e.g., limited mobility, depression, pain).[2] Although osteoporosis occurs most frequently in postmenopausal women, it also affects approximately 2 million men in the United States.[3]