About this Series

An insidious and asymptomatic condition, osteoporosis can profoundly affect human health, especially in the vulnerable senior population. Fractures can result in pain, disability, breathing difficulty, and increased mortality. Yet, the great majority of individuals at high risk for osteoporosis who have already had at least one fracture are neither identified nor treated.

Although bone densitometry can help identify patients at higher risk for fracture, utilization rates are declining, due in part to reductions in reimbursements. In women aged 65-79, only 26.5% are screened for osteoporosis, and in the 50-64 age group, only 21% receive osteoporosis screening—a 31.4% drop between 2008 and 20141. Not only are postmenopausal women at higher risk for osteoporosis, but researchers report that other, specific groups also merit increased screening.

In this three-part series, University of Colorado metabolic bone specialist Paul D. Miller, MD, emphasizes the need for broader screening in overlooked groups, including men, those taking glucocorticoids, and those with chronic kidney disease. Experts also share strategies for treatment when patient compliance with bisphosphonates ceases.

1 Gillespie CW, Morin PE. Trends and disparities in osteoporosis screening among women in the United States, 2008-2014. Am J Med. 2017;130:306-316. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.10.018. Epub 2016 Nov 21.

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