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Bone Health After Fracture May Be Overlooked in Men

Osteoporosis screening, treatment found lacking in older men post-wrist fracture

THURSDAY, Nov. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older men are much less likely than women to receive osteoporosis screening and treatment after suffering a wrist fracture, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Tamara Rozental, M.D., an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed the medical records of 95 men and 344 women older than 50 who were treated for a wrist fracture between 2007 and 2012.

The researchers found that men were three times less likely than women to undergo bone mass density testing for osteoporosis after a wrist fracture. In addition, men were also seven times less likely than women to begin treatment for osteoporosis after a wrist fracture. Within six months of the wrist fracture, 55 percent of women and 21 percent of men began treatment with calcium and vitamin D supplements. Twenty-two percent of women -- but only 3 percent of men -- starting taking bisphosphonates.

"Treating men for bone fractures, but not the underlying cause, places them at a greater risk for future bone breaks and related complications," Rozental said in a news release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Men older than 50 who suffer wrist fractures should undergo testing to identify those who are at high risk for more fractures and who would benefit from treatment, Rozental suggested.

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