Are Wisconsin physicians knowledgeable about male osteoporosis?


It is unknown if recent research defining the relatively frequent occurrence and pathophysiology of male osteoporosis has been conveyed to clinicians. To assess if physicians have incorporated such information, 5646 licensed Wisconsin physicians received a 1-page survey consisting of 14 statements regarding general knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis in men. Twenty-six percent (1488) responded; 69% (1033) were family physicians or internists, 7% (106) orthopedic surgeons, and 5% (63) endocrinologists or rheumatologists. Of these physicians, 61% to 78% recognized that osteoporosis is not rare in men. Most (68%-97%) agreed that low-trauma fracture or corticosteroid therapy initiation are indications for bone mass measurement. Treating osteoporosis at a T-score of -2.5 was accepted by 79% to 89% of responders. Overall these physicians: (1) recognize osteoporosis as an important disease in men; (2) accept corticosteroid therapy and prior low-trauma fracture as indications for bone mass measurement; and (3) utilize T-scores in treatment decisions. These data suggest that knowledge regarding male osteoporosis has been conveyed to practicing physicians. Evaluation of methods by which physicians will translate this knowledge into action, thereby optimizing patient care, are needed.