Back to Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 2 » Issue 4

Osteoporosis in the aging male: Treatment options

Authors Tuck, Datta HK

Published 15 January 2008 Volume 2007:2(4) Pages 521—536


Stephen P Tuck1, Harish K Datta2

1Departments of Rheumatology, James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, UK; 2School of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences, The Medical School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Abstract: In elderly women, loss in bone mass and micro-architectural changes are generally attributed to the onset of menopause. Men do not experience menopause, they do, however, experience age-related acceleration in bone loss and micro-architecture deterioration. The incidence of osteoporotic fractures in elderly men, just as in aged women, increases exponentially with age; the rise in men, however, is some 5–10 years later than in women. Up to 50% of male osteoporotics have no identifiable etiology; however elderly males have much higher likelihood of having an identifiable secondary cause than younger men. Therefore, clinical and laboratory evaluation of aged male osteoporotics must be thorough and should be aimed at identifying lifestyle or conditions contributing to bone loss and fragility. It is essential to identify and treat secondary causes and ensure adequate vitamin D and calcium intake before embarking upon treatment with pharmacological agents. The evidence from a limited number of trials suggests that bisphosphonates, especially alendronate and risedronate, are effective in improving BMD, and seem to be the treatments of choice in aged men with osteoporosis. In cases where bisphosphonates are contra-indicated or ineffective, teriparatide or alternatives such as strontium should be considered.

Keywords: male osteoporosis, bone mineral density, fracture risk, bisphosphonates, PTH

Creative Commons License © 2008 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.