Osteoporosis in men is increasingly being recognized as a public health issue. Thirty percent of hip fractures occur in men, and one in eight fractures occurs in men above 50 years of age.
Objectives: To assess the prevalence of osteoporosis in healthy male subjects using Bone Mineral Density (BMD) as measured by Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and to study the influence of various factors which influence BMD.
Methods: Healthy male subjects aged above 40 years residing at a South Indian semi-urban area were studied. History of fracture, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, dietary calcium intake, duration of sunlight exposure and drug history were recorded. Serum calcium, phosphorus, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, 25(OH)vitamin D and PTH were measured. BMD was assessed at the lumbar spine and femoral neck.
Results: One hundred and ten subjects were studied. The mean age was 56.8 years and the mean BMI was 23.3 kg/m2. Osteoporosis was present at the lumbar spine and femoral neck in 15.2% and 10.7% of the subjects respectively. There was a significant positive correlation between BMI and BMD at the lumbar spine (r=0.294, P=0.02) and femoral neck (r=0.498, P=0.001). Vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) was present in 53% of the subjects. There was no significant correlation between 25(OH)vitamin D levels and BMD. A significant positive correlation was found between dietary calcium intake and BMD at the lumbar spine (P=0.019, r=0.22). Subjects with moderate and vigorous physical activity had significantly higher BMD at the femoral neck (P=0.05) in comparison to those who were sedentary.
Conclusions: Osteoporosis is a significant problem in males above age 40 years. Nutritional calcium intake had a positive correlation with BMD. Moderate and vigorous physical activity was associated with higher femoral neck BMD. Hence this group should be advised to increase dietary calcium intake and physical activity for optimal bone health.
Declaration of interest: There is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.
Funding: No specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.