For postmenopausal women who have undergone an initial bone mineral density test, having a second standard assessment three years after the first does not improve the ability of doctors to determine the risk of hip, spine, forearm and fracture fractures. of the shoulder related to osteoporosis, a study found.
In addition, the study authors say, the initial test is more predictive of fracture risk than the second test, regardless of race, ethnicity and age.
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Doctors routinely follow up on bone density tests in postmenopausal women approximately three years after the first test to detect any bone mass loss and then assess the risk of bone fracture in patients in subsequent years.
Researchers used data collected from over 7,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79 in the United States, followed for nine years under the Women’s Health Initiative, a National-sponsored long-term health study Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Participants underwent bone mineral density measurements at baseline and again about three years later. After the second measurement, participants provided information that they had suffered major osteoporosis-related fractures.
Since bone mineral density tests three years after baseline tests do not predict a postmenopausal woman’s risk of bone fractures, it should not be performed routinely, as was standard practice.
Dr. Carolyn Crandall (UCLA), Joseph Larson (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle), Nicole Wright (University of Alabama, Birmingham), Deepika Laddu (University of Illinois, Chicago), Marcia Stefanik (Stanford University), Dr. Andrew Kaunitz (University of Florida), Dr. Nelson Watts (Mercy Health Osteoporosis and Bone Health Services, Cincinnati), Jean Wactawski-Wende (State University of New York, Buffalo), Dr. Catherine Womack and Dr. Karen Johnson (University of Tennessee ), Dr. Laura Carbone (Augusta University), Dr. Rebecca Jackson (Ohio State University) and Dr. Kristine Ensrud (University of Minnesota).
The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute funded the Women’s Health Initiative.