BMD testing interval and transition to osteoporosis

So, you’re suspecting osteoporosis, you get a bone mineral density test…and you manage it. When do you do the next test? How long do you wait?

This NEJM review is regarding post menopausal women with no previous diagnosis of osteoporosis, and outlines how likely it is for patients bone mineral density to decline after that, based on the previous bone mineral density level. For patients with a normal bone density initially, it takes 16.8 years before 10% of the population fall below the osteoporosis line.

An interesting study that might result in fewer tests and less burden on the system. Out of interest, the current Australian giudeline (see here for the snapshot), suggests repeating the scan in 1-2 years after the initial diagnosis of osteoporosis.

Oh, and there’s a relatively recent (2010) review on osteoporosis in CMAJ, here.

source | NEJM

image | mararie

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