Osteoporosis: an age-related and gender-specific disease--a mini-review

Gerontology. 2009;55(1):3-12. doi: 10.1159/000166209. Epub 2008 Oct 24.


Osteoporosis, a classical age-related disease and known to be more common in women than in men, has been reported increasingly often in men during the past few years. Although men at all ages after puberty have larger bones than women, resulting in greater bending strength, mortality after a hip fracture, one of the major complications of osteoporosis, is more common in men than in women. Sex hormone deficiency is associated with unrestrained osteoclast activity and bone loss. Even though estrogen deficiency is more pronounced in women, it appears to be a major factor in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis in both genders. In contrast to osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, the treatment of osteoporosis in men has been scarcely reported. Nevertheless, some drugs commonly used for the treatment of osteoporosis in women also appear to be effective in men. The aim of this study is to review primary osteoporosis in the elderly with particular emphasis on gender-related aspects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / pathology
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Remodeling
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / etiology
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Osteoporosis / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics