Among women with normal initial bone mass who took part in a major osteoporosis study, only 10% developed osteoporosis within 15 years. What are the implications of this knowledge for best practices in osteoporosis screening? Dr Margaret Gourlay, lead author of the report in the New England Journal of Medicine, tells what you should take into account as you work with patients to decide how often they need a bone-density test. Dr Gourlay is Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"Take home" Points:
1. No previous studies have documented the best screening intervals for osteoporosis.
2. For women aged 67 and older who have an initial T score greater than -1.5, retrospective analysis of data from a large cohort study suggests the next bone density test may not be informative within the next 15 years. In general, these women progress very slowly to osteoporosis.
3. For women with lower initial T scores, especially older women, screening is justified more often.
4. All women aged 65 and older should have an initial bone density test. Too few women in this age group are receiving bone density measurements.
|Judging Osteoporosis Screening Intervals from the Latest T Score|
Judging Osteoporosis Screening Intervals from the Latest T Score
For your reference:
Osteoporosis Study Suggests Bone Density Testing Intervals for Older Women
Musculoskeletal Network, January 31, 2012
Bone-Density Testing Interval and Transition to Osteoporosis in Older Women
Gourlay ML, Fine JP, et al. New England Journal of Medicine, January 19, 2012