Osteoporosis: Screening For The Silent Killer

Women aged 65 years and older are routinely recommended for bone density testing to screen for osteoporosis, but it has been unclear which women between ages 50 and 64 should receive screening. The US Preventative Task Force recommends women age less than 65 whose 10-year fracture risk is equal or greater than that of a 65 year old woman without additional risk factors, should receive screening for osteoporosis. Using this strategy, a recent study found that this would only identify 34 percent of women who actually had bone mineral density in the osteoporosis range, potentially missing a large proportion of cases.

Osteoporosis is a silent disease afflicting many people. Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime, as will 1 in 5 men. The results of this study underscore the importance to screen patients for osteoporosis more opportunistically as a wide range of therapeutic options are available nowadays to treat the disease effectively.