Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in men

J Endocrinol Invest. 2011 Jun;34(6):481-4. doi: 10.1007/BF03346716. Epub 2011 May 27.


Osteoporosis and fractures are a common consequence of glucocorticoid therapy for inflammatory disorders. Men fracture approximately 10 yr later in life than women and receive less attention as regards osteoporosis risk, including in glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIOP). In addition, while men are less likely to have certain rheumatologic disorders often treated with glucocorticoids, men are more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and organ transplantation as reasons for use of oral glucocorticoids. Attempts to improve recognition of GIOP in general have not been successful, and since men are considered less at risk for osteoporosis in general, attention to men with GIOP is even less. Evaluation of GIOP is similar in men and women, and most modern treatment studies of GIOP have included men. Thus, alendronate, risedronate, and zoledronic acid are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved bisphosphonates for GIOP in men. Teriparatide is also FDA-approved for GIOP. In one 36-month trial of teriparatide vs alendronate for GIOP in men and women, the anabolic agent led to a greater increase in bone density and was associated with a lower incidence of morphologic vertebral fractures. Thus, while good management is available for GIOP, recognition of men at risk is the most important step in improving outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced*


  • Glucocorticoids