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Elderly Men Undertreated for Osteoporosis

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 -- Elderly men are significantly undertreated for osteoporosis, according to a study published online March 5 in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research.

Feng-Hua Ellen Loh, Ph.D., from Touro College of Pharmacy in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from Medicare beneficiaries (aged ≥70 years) enrolled in Part A, Part B, and Part D standalone prescription drug plans from 2006 through 2008 and diagnosed with osteoporosis (8,465 men and 90,956 women).

The researchers found that the prevalence of osteoporosis medication use in men was substantially less than for women (25.2 versus 44.3 percent in 2006). However, with older age, men were more likely to be treated than women. Compared with white men and women, black men and women were much less likely to be treated for osteoporosis (relative risks, 0.76 for men and 0.61 for women). Compared with women, men who received bone mineral density testing were much more likely to be treated. For both men and women, bisphosphonates were the treatment of choice.

"To reduce this disparity and improve the overall osteoporosis management in the elderly in this country, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should include men, in addition to women, in the Medicare Part C Star Rating measure for osteoporosis management, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force should include elderly men, in addition to women aged 65 years and older, in the recommendation for screening for osteoporosis by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry," Loh said in a statement.

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Posted: March 2019

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