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New NIAMS grant targets osteoporosis in men

Osteoporosis, the major bone-weakening and fracture-causing disease which has long been studied in women, will now undergo major scrutiny in men with the award of a seven-center, $23.8 million grant by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) in partnership with the National Institute on Aging and the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The 7-year study, which will enroll and then follow some 5,700 men 65 years and older for an average of 4.5 years, will determine the extent to which the risk of fracture in men is related to bone mass and structure, biochemistry, lifestyle, tendency to fall, and other factors. The study will also try to determine if bone mass is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Such a relationship already exists between high bone mass and breast cancer, another hormonally sensitive condition.

"Although the lifetime risk of older men for fractures of the hip, spine or wrist is considerable, the cause and pathology of osteoporosis in men hasn't received the research attention we'd like," said NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D. "We're excited about this major study in men that will plow the same kind of fertile ground which has yielded so much for the health of women."

The new NIAMS-funded study centers include the University of California at San Francisco and at San Diego; Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.); the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; the University of Alabama at Birmingham; the Oregon Health Sciences University (Portland); and the University of Pittsburgh (Pa.). The grant, whose principal investigator is Eric Orwoll, M.D., at the Oregon Health Sciences University, is the result of a special solicitation for research applications on osteoporosis and fractures in men.

Although American women are four times a
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Contact: Ray Fleming
flemingr@exchange.nih.gov
301-496-8190
NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
17-Oct-1999


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