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Osteoporosis Indicated in One Third of Older Men Undergoing Treatment in Hospital

In a study conducted by Dr. Haider M Al Attia, Consultant Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at Al Noor Hospital, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, tested the density of the femur bone in140 predominantly Arab male patients aged 55 years and over – who were attending hospital for the treatment of other conditions – to determine the prevalence of osteoporosis in this group.

The research found that between 22 percent of men aged 55 plus, and 34 percent of those over the age of 64.5 years, were suffering from the bone condition, which increases the risk of bone fracture and the likelihood of disability and death.

“Osteoporosis is a hidden disease in men, but from my own study you can see that the condition could be affecting a significant number of older Arab males in the UAE. The majority of these men will not even know they have the disease and may already have fractures that can lead to serious disability, and an increased risk of death,” Dr. Al Attia warned.

“Despite osteoporosis being more common in women, our study highlights the fact that if you are a male with osteoporosis you are as likely to suffer from a fragility fracture as a female patient. Early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis is essential, because after one fracture there is a five to 10-fold increase in the risk of suffering a second fracture within one year, and a two-fold increase in risk of hip fracture, with a resulting rise in the chance of suffering from disability and death,” Dr Al Attia said.

in the UAE have all kinds of medications within accessible reach which they can use to treat osteoporosis, and men should be benefitting from these treatments, as well as women. Osteoporosis should always be investigated when caring for elderly patients, and it is vital that providers and educators in the UAE start to raise awareness of this debilitating disease among men,” he added.

However, there are a number of other factors which increase the risk, including treatment with glucocorticoid steroids, anticonvulsants, Vitamin D deficiency, chronic liver and kidney disease, , excess alcohol intake, low levels of androgens, such as testosterone, and low levels of oestrogen.

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