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Screening Recommendations for Osteoporosis

Over half of all postmenopausal women will develop a fracture related to osteoporosis during their lifetime, including 15% who will suffer hip fractures. Although fewer men than women develop osteoporosis, more than one-third of men who sustain a hip fracture die within 1 year. A new statement issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) aims to provide clinicians with current, evidence-based recommendations for osteoporosis screening. These recommendations, published in the January 2011Annals of Internal Medicine, are designed to assist clinicians on the appropriate time to initiate osteoporosis screening based on patient characteristics and clinical data. Major Modifications to Osteoporosis Recommendations In 2002, the USPSTF recommended to routinely screen women aged 65 and older for osteoporosis and screen women between the ages of 60 and 64 with an increased risk for osteoporotic fractures. Since 2002, a wealth of data has emerged on risk among younger women. Accordingly, the new recommendation extended screening for osteoporosis to women aged 65 or older and in younger women whose fracture risk is equal to or greater than that of a 65-year-old Caucasian woman who has no additional risk factors. The current guidelines contain no recommendation for or against osteoporosis screening in younger women. “Validation studies on tools to predict osteoporosis risk have been completed, and these investigations have revealed that risk assessment tools can accurately identify potential osteoporosis risk.” In 2002, a single osteoporosis screening tool was not recommended for universal use. Since that time, validation studies on tools to predict osteoporosis risk have been completed, and these investigations have revealed that risk assessment tools can accurately identify potential osteoporosis risk. The World...
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