05/08/2006 - News

Men with low estrogen have increased risk for hip fracture

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Men with low estrogen have increased risk for hip fracture

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A study reveals that men with low estrogen levels are more likely to have a hip fracture especially if they also have low testosterone.
While osteoporosis is often thought of as a women's disease, men can suffer from this problem too. Researchers for the Framingham Heart Study now report on a study of nearly 800 men who had their estrogen and testosterone levels measured between 1981 and 1983. During the study, which went on to 1999, 39 of the men experienced a low trauma hip fracture. Those with lower estrogen levels had a three times greater risk of such a fracture. Men with low testosterone levels alone did not have a greater risk of fracture. But if they also had low estrogen, then the risk was 6.5 times that for men with normal to high levels of both hormone.

Both men and women possess estrogen and testosterone, although in different amounts. Low estrogen is, according to this study, as much a problem for men as women when it comes to bone health. Hip fractures can have serious consequences for men - around 50 per cent of those affected require institutionalized care afterwards and up to 37 per cent die within a year of the fracture. Routine testing of estrogen levels is not performed routinely among men - this study shows it should be more widely recognized as being a risk factor for hip fracture.

The American Journal of Medicine May 2006

Created on: 05/08/2006
Reviewed on: 05/08/2006

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