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Medical News and Perspectives
February 15, 2012

Osteoporosis Screening May Be Needed Less Often Than Previously Believed

JAMA. 2012;307(7):654. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.129

New data fill a gap in osteoporosis screening recommendations, suggesting that postmenopausal women undergo bone mineral density (BMD) testing yearly, every 5 years, or every 15 years based on their BMD T scores.

The study, published in January in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed up 4957 women aged 67 years or older for 15 years. The participants were part of the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, which began in 1986 and is the longest running osteoporosis study in the United States. A previous analysis from this group showed that in healthy, older postmenopausal women, a repeat BMD test performed 8 years after the initial test didn't provide much new information in predicting fracture risk (Hillier TA et al. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167[2]:155-160).