Update in male osteoporosis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jan;95(1):3-10. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-1740.


Context: Osteoporosis in men is becoming an increasingly important public health problem. One in five men over the age of 50 yr will suffer an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime, and men who sustain fractures have an increased mortality risk.

Evidence acquisition: Evidence was obtained by PubMed search and author's knowledge of the field.

Evidence synthesis: Studies using computed quantitative tomography and high-resolution peripheral computed quantitative tomography have provided new insights into the bone structural changes with aging in men, including the somewhat surprising demonstration of significant, ongoing trabecular bone loss starting in young adult life. In addition, there are now data demonstrating that serum estradiol levels are important predictors of fracture risk in men and that there is a threshold estradiol level below which not only bone loss but also fracture risk increases markedly. Criteria for diagnosing and managing osteoporosis in men are also evolving, including the application of the fracture risk assessment tool to derive 10-yr fracture risks in men. Three bisphosphonates (alendronate, risedronate, and zolendronic acid) and teriparatide are currently U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for the treatment of osteoporosis in men, with a number of new compounds, including a monoclonal antibody against receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand, selective estrogen receptor modulators, and selective androgen receptor modulators in varying stages of development.

Conclusions: Despite significant advances, there remain a number of key unresolved issues regarding the pathogenesis and management of male osteoporosis, not the least of which is increasing public awareness of this important cause of morbidity and mortality in men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Osteoporosis / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors