Hypogonadal osteoporosis in elderly male patients with lepromatous leprosy.
Geriatric diseases have become significant problems in Japanese leprosariums. In particular, male osteoporosis seems to be more frequent in elderly leprosy patients than in non-leprosy elders. In 1987 we measured the cortical thickness of the 2nd metacarpal bone (MCI: metacarpal index) in 499 leprosy patients who were under medical treatment for osteoporosis. Of these patients, 139 were female patients with lepromatous leprosy (FL), 58 were female patients with tuberculoid leprosy (FT), 238 were male patients with lepromatous leprosy (ML) and the remaining 64 were male patients with tuberculoid leprosy (MT). The results were that the MCI of 238 ML was lower than 139 FL in the 4th, 5th 6th, and 7th decade of life. Furthermore the decreasing ratio of MCI peaked in the 4th decade was 70.6% between the ages of the 8th decade in ML. We conclude that this is a manifestation of leprosy-specific osteoporosis, which is associated with testicular dysfunction in elderly male patients with lepromatous leprosy.