New guidelines for bone density testing may discourage men

Newly updated guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services task force suggests all women 65 and older undergo bone density screening, a brief, noninvasive, safe and inexpensive test covered by Medicare. But, the task force says there’s not enough evidence to screen men for osteoporosis. Some experts disagree.

New York Times health journalist Jane Brody writes that although men get “about half as many osteoporotic fractures as women, when a man breaks his hip, he is more likely than a woman similarly afflicted to be permanently disabled and twice as likely to die within a year.” One in five men over 70 will experience an osteoporotic fracture.

Experts advise men age 70 and older to get a screening based on age and weight, and if it’s determined there’s a high probability for an osteoporotic fracture, to then have a bone density scan.



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