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Low Estrogen Levels in Men Increase Risk of Hip Fracture

Risk greatest for those who also have low testosterone levels

MONDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low levels of estrogen are at greater risk for hip fracture than other men, while those with low estrogen and low testosterone are at highest risk, according to a study in the May issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Shreyasee Amin, M.D.C.M., M.P.H., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied 793 men with a mean age of 71 who had no prior history of hip fracture and for whom total estradiol and testosterone measures were taken between 1981 and 1983. The cohort was followed until the end of 1999, and the sample was divided into three groups based on low, middle and high measures of estradiol.

During follow-up, 39 men sustained hip fractures, with the incidence rate per 1,000 person-years being 11.0, 3.4 and 3.9 for the low, middle and high estradiol groups, respectively. When the men were similarly evaluated on the basis of testosterone levels, there was no significant increase in hip fracture risk, but men who had low levels of both hormones had the greatest risk.

The findings suggest that "both serum testosterone and estradiol levels together may provide useful clinical information on hip fracture risk assessments in older men. However, it is important to note that it remains unknown whether low estradiol and testosterone levels increase the risk of hip fracture independent of bone density results," the authors conclude.

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