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Risk Factors for Osteoporosis in a Subgroup of Elderly Men in a Veterans Administration Nursing Home
  1. Shing-Shing Yeh,
  2. Donna Phanumas,
  3. Alice Hafner,
  4. Michael W. Schuster
  1. 1From the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center Northport, Northport, NY (SSY);
  2. 2Geriatric Health and Resource Center, Greenwich Hospital, Greewich, Conn (DP);
  3. 3Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY (AH, MWS).
  1. Address correspondence to: Shing-Shing Yeh, M.D., Ph.D., Veterans Administration Medical Center Northport, Box 111, 79 Middleville Road, Northport, NY 11768. Email: Shingshing.Yeh{at}


Background General risk factors for osteoporosis in men include cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and diseases known to affect calcium or bone turnover. The aim of this study was to determine the specific incidence and major risk factors for osteoporosis in those at high risk for falling in a Veterans Administration nursing home that included a high proportion of psychiatric patients.

Methods We performed a cross-sectional analysis of Veterans Administration Medical Center nursing home residents with high fall risk. Thirty-nine men with a previous episode of falling or who were considered to be at high fall risk were enrolled. A review of the medical histories and pertinent hormonal and biochemical laboratory values was performed. Bone mineral density was measured by performing dual energy x-ray absorptiometry for all participants.

Results We reviewed the medical records of 39 male nursing home residents with high fall risk. The patients' mean age was 74.7±6.8 years. A significant (p=0.00045) association was found between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and osteoporosis independent of oral corticosteroid use. Additional risk factors found to be associated with osteoporosis included hypogonadism, lower body weight, antipsychotic medication use, and smoking.

Conclusion In a Veterans Administration nursing home population at high risk for falls, including psychiatric patients, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease independent of the use of corticosteroids, lower body weight, hypogonadism, use of antipsychotic medications, and smoking was found to be associated with osteoporosis.

  • antipsychotic agent
  • body weight
  • chronic obstructive
  • hypogonadism
  • osteoporosis
  • pulmonary disease

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