Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Older women at highest risk for hip fractures, least likely to get bone density screening

09.02.2006


A new study by Medical College of Wisconsin researchers has found that women who most need bone density testing to determine if they have osteoporosis are the least likely to get it. They are older women who are among the highest risk groups and who suffer most if they break a bone. The study is published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

"Over half of hip fracture patients never regain their prior level of functioning and 20 percent of them require nursing home care," according to Joan M. Neuner, M.D., M.P.H., lead author and assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College. Dr. Neuner is on the staff at Froedtert Hospital. "Women are very interested in preventing bone fractures. In an earlier study, 80 percent of women said they would "rather die" than enter a nursing home with a hip fracture."

Osteoporosis, in which the body breaks down bone faster than it is replaced, leading to lace-like, fragile bones, is a significant risk for older women. Nineteen percent of women in the age 65-74 group have it, 32.5 percent of women age 75-84, and over half of women over age 85.



The research team did a statistical analysis to see if older women are more or less likely to have the bone density test that would tell them their bone status. The retrospective study – one in which they looked at existing data to gain a new understanding – looked at the Medicare records of nearly 44,000 women from age 65 to 90 to see how many of them had a bone density test from 1999 (the first year Medicare paid for it) to 2001. They looked at the association between frequency of testing and the age of the women, controlling for factors such as socioeconomic class, race and other diseases they may have had.

"Since osteoporosis can be helped with appropriate therapy, it is especially important for older women to find out whether or not they need the therapy. Treatment with hormones or bone-building drugs can slow the process, rebuild some bone and reduce the risk of fracture by one-third," Dr. Neuner says.

The best scenario would be the oldest women being the most frequent subjects of bone density screenings. That did not prove to be the case. In fact, the research team found just the opposite. The older the age group, the fewer women had bone density tests.

The numbers were not heartening: 27 percent of women in the youngest age group, 65-70, had the test. At age 71-75, only 25.6 percent had it and; after age 75, the number fell to less than 10 percent.

Since this was a statistical study and no women were interviewed, the researchers could not determine the reason why older women failed to get the test. But they offer some possible reasons:

  • Physicians not realizing the importance of bone density testing, or not being aware of how great women’s life expectancy is – at age 80 most women can expect to live another nine years
  • Physicians not being aware that osteoporosis treatment can reduce the risk of fracture in just three years
  • Women having side effects from the treatment drugs or just not liking to take prescription medications
  • Women not realizing that they are at risk, or mistakenly believing that osteoporosis is natural part of aging

The study points out the need for greater patient and physician education to convince women to get the testing they need, especially as they grow older and to determine if osteoporosis therapy would benefit them.

"Preventive care for older patients must be performed with an understanding of their life expectancy and values," Dr. Neuner says. "Osteoporosis screening may offer important opportunities to improve quality of life for many older patients."

Toranj Marphetia | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcw.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins

27.06.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>