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Screen All Men above 85 for Osteoporosis : Study

Screen All Men above 85 for Osteoporosis : Study

Universal screening for osteoporosis in men aged 85 years and above should be tested for certain risk factors for fracture, according to a new study presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of American Geriatrics Society.

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by a decrease in the density of bone, decreasing its strength and resulting in fragile bones. A man has a higher risk of having a major osteoporotic fracture than getting prostate cancer. Clinical practice guidelines are clear on when women should be screened but not when men should be tested.

Colon Emeric and her associates conducted a study to determine whether there is a benefit to screening men for primary osteoporosis.

The study found that out of the 183,943 men who had undergone screening, 33,224 (18%) were older than 80 years. Fracture rates were 15% lower in the screened population than in the overall population.

There was only a slight difference in men older than 80 years than younger men who met the threshold to receive at least one prescription for an osteoporosis medication (16.3% vs 13.4%). For men with no known risk factors for fracture, the age at which screening becomes more effective than not screening is approximately 85 years.

The data showed that 85 years is the inflection point at which screening made a difference.

The researchers used propensity scores to match men who had undergone osteoporosis screening with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry during routine care with men who had similar risk factors for fracture and a similar probability of being screened but who had not undergone any screening.

“Our findings not only support universal osteoporosis screenings for all men over age 85, but also suggest that men as young as 65 may benefit from diagnostic evaluation when certain risk factors are present,” Colon-Emeric added,”In the younger men with risk factors, there is a 10% reduction in hazard with screening.

The study concluded that screening can have a strong impact if osteoporosis is found and treated appropriately and perhaps increase the life expectancy and functionality of men eighty-five years and above.

 The study was presented at Annual Scientific Meeting of American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2018.

Source: With inputs from American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting

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