Sex and Gender Considerations in Male Patients With Osteoporosis
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Osteoporosis remains underrecognized and undertreated in both men and women, but men who sustain fragility fractures experience greater morbidity and mortality. While men exhibit advanced comorbidity at the time of hip fracture presentation, there are distinct sex- and gender-specific factors related to the pathophysiology and treatment of osteoporosis that further influence morbidity and mortality.
With a selective review of the literature, we evaluated sex- and gender-based differences contributing to increased morbidity and mortality in men with osteoporosis.
Where are we now?
Sex-specific differences in bone biology and morphology may affect the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, choice of pharmacotherapy, and surgical implant selection. Additionally, estrogen metabolism may play a key role in both fracture prevention and healing. Gender-based differences in recommendations for screening and prevention between men and women may influence the severity at which osteoporosis is recognized. Primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention efforts in men lag behind those of women. This may be due to a lack of consensus regarding screening guidelines for osteoporosis in men but may be attributed to lack of awareness in the physician and patient about osteoporosis and its potentially debilitating consequences.
Where do we need to go?
These disparities are a call to action for healthcare providers to raise awareness for early prevention and treatment of this potentially debilitating disease, particularly in men.
How do we get there?
Continued prospective research on the differences between men and women diagnosed with osteoporosis is needed, as well as sex-specific stratification of data in all studies on osteoporosis.
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