Updated Osteoporosis Screening Recommendations Issued

January 24, 2011

TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued an updated statement recommending that women aged 65 years or older, and younger women with an increased risk of fractures, should be screened for osteoporosis; the statement has been published online Jan. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued an updated statement recommending that women aged 65 years or older, and younger women with an increased risk of fractures, should be screened for osteoporosis; the statement has been published online Jan. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ned Calonge, M.D., M.P.H., from The Colorado Trust in Denver, and colleagues from the USPSTF analyzed the available evidence and evaluated screening and treatment guidelines for osteoporosis in men and women. Diagnostic accuracy of risk assessment by performance of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and peripheral bone measurement tests in predicting fractures was evaluated. In addition, investigators considered the potential risks of screening for osteoporosis, and the benefits and harms of drug therapy.

The investigators recommended screening for osteoporosis in women aged 65 years or older, and in younger women who have a fracture risk that is equal to or greater than a 65-year-old white woman without additional risk factors. Current evidence is insufficient to assess the benefits of screening for osteoporosis in men. The statement highlights the lack of evidence about optimal screening intervals, or even whether repeat screening is necessary in women with normal bone mineral density (BMD), but it suggests that a minimum two-year interval may be needed to reliably measure a change in BMD.

"The USPSTF now recommends screening all women whose 10-year fracture risk is equal to or greater than that of a 65-year-old white woman who has no additional risk factors," the authors write.

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