Despite a high prevalence of osteoporosis in elderly Australian men, awareness, diagnosis and treatment of the condition remain low, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Kerrin Bleicher, a physiotherapist and PhD Student at the University of Sydney,
and coauthors conducted a study to determine the proportion of older Australian
men who meet the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) criteria for osteoporosis
treatment and are receiving effective treatment.
the 1705 men aged over 70 years who participated in the study, 25 per cent met
one or more of the PBS criteria for osteoporosis treatment. Ninety per cent of
the men who met the PBS criteria were unaware they had osteoporosis.
Bleicher said that this lack of awareness may have resulted in substantial
underestimation of osteoporosis prevalence in men in a recent report by the
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that relied on self-report of
men who will benefit from osteoporosis treatment and increasing the proportion
of eligible men receiving appropriate treatment is a public health issue," Ms
non-pharmacological treatments and pharmacological treatments need to be
implemented to reduce fracture rates.
it is projected that, because of the ageing population, hip fractures may
double by 2026, and increase fourfold by 2051.
important step forward is to build public and general medical awareness that
osteoporosis is common in older men and that minimal trauma fractures and
vertebral deformities are indicators of increased risk of future fractures.
information about previous fractures, identifying vertebral deformities, and
testing bone density, where appropriate, can identify men at higher risk of
fracture who may benefit from interventions."
Journal of Australia
is a publication of the Australian Medical