, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 183-191
Date: 26 Feb 2011

Pattern of use of DXA scans in men: a cross-sectional, population-based study

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Abstract

Summary

Osteoporosis in men is underdiagnosed. The use of dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was evaluated in almost 5,000 men aged 60–74 years. DXA was infrequent, despite the presence of multiple risk factors for osteoporosis and a high FRAX score. There is a need for improved targeting of DXA scans for men at high risk.

Introduction

Clinical and socioeconomic factors associated with bone mass assessment (DXA) in men have seldom been evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate factors associated with the use of DXA in men.

Methods

Self-report information on prior DXA and osteoporosis risk factors were obtained from the baseline data of a study investigating the health perspectives of men aged 60–75 years. Socioeconomic and comorbidity data were retrieved from national registers. The FRAX algorithm was used to calculate the absolute fracture risk. Regression analysis was used to identify factors significantly associated with previous DXA scan.

Results

Of the 4,696 men returning questionnaires (50% response rate), 2.7% had prior DXA but 48% had at least one osteoporosis risk factor. Previous DXA was associated with oral glucocorticoid treatment, secondary osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fracture after age 50, falls within the previous year, smoking, and higher age. Twenty-one percent of men with prior DXA and 10% of men without prior DXA had greater than 20% risk of a major osteoporotic fracture within the next 10 years. One third of those with previous DXA had none of the FRAX osteoporosis risk factors. When family history of osteoporosis and falls were included as risk factors, 18% with previous DXA had no clinical risk factors for osteoporosis.

Conclusions

DXA was infrequent in this group of elderly men, despite the presence of risk factors for osteoporosis. DXA was also used despite a low fracture risk. There is a need for improved targeting of DXA scans for men at high risk.