Healthcare Disparities Affect Men for Osteoporosis, and Here’s What You Can Do—But What Now?

Make an impact in the battle over osteoporosis

The CORRelations post, "Healthcare Disparities Affect Men for Osteoporosis, and Here’s What You Can Do," offers the Smart Practice tip to get DEXA scans even in male patients who experience low-energy fragility fractures, and not just apply that approach to females. The point that results from osteoporosis treatments are as good in males as females — treatments that commonly will be initiated following those DEXA scans — is well made, and important.

One of my current partners, Patrick J. Brogle MD, often will say during fracture rounds, “this patient’s skeletal system is screaming for a metabolic workup!”. While Pat has an entertaining way of delivering his message, the impact on our residents has been unquestionable. I’ve noticed they are quicker to send patients for screening and treatment of osteoporosis than I am. I am shamed by the number of patients over my career who have not been adequately worked up for bone health on my watch. Some years back, I vowed to do better.

When I was at my previous private practice, Resurgens, we developed a program to diagnose and treat osteoporosis in patients we saw for fractures. While we knew that a high proportion of older White females would have poor bone health, we were surprised by how many males and Black patients had osteopenia and osteoporosis.

So, for the benefit of all of our patients, I’ll reiterate the advice from that post: Through whatever means necessary, see each patient who has a fragility fracture as someone who may have osteoporosis. You may be the only one who catches it, and by doing so, you can save a life.