Study IDs Optimal Interval Between Bone Density Tests

Researchers provide evidence-based estimates for BMD screening in postmenopausal women

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The recommended bone mineral density (BMD) screening interval is approximately 16 years for postmenopausal women with normal BMD, 4.5 years for women with moderate osteopenia, and one year for women with advanced osteopenia, according to a study published in the Jan. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Margaret L. Gourlay, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 4,957 women age 67 and older to determine how the timing of BMD testing related to the development of osteoporosis before a hip or vertebral fracture occurred. The researchers analyzed how long it took 10 percent of the women with normal BMD, and subgroups with mild, moderate, and advanced osteopenia, to make the transition to osteoporosis, taking into account the use of treatments such as bisphosphonate, calcitonin, or raloxifene.

The investigators found that the recommended testing interval for postmenopausal women with normal BMD was an estimated 16.8 years. This compared to 17.3 years for women with mild osteopenia, 4.7 years for women with moderate osteopenia, and 1.1 years for those with advanced osteopenia. During the 15-year follow-up period, 10 of 1,255 women (0.8 percent) with a normal BMD baseline developed osteoporosis, compared to 64 of 1,386 women (4.6 percent) with mild osteopenia, 309 of 1,478 women (20.9 percent) with moderate osteopenia, and 841 of 1,351 women (62.3 percent) with advanced osteopenia.

"Our findings provide evidence-based estimates for an osteoporosis screening interval before new hip or clinical vertebral fractures and before initiation of treatment for osteoporosis," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events