Bone-density testing interval and transition to osteoporosis


Most older women with good bone mineral density scores can safely wait 15 years until their next screening, while women with poor scores should be screened annually, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Current guidelines recommend routine BMD screening for women aged 65 and older but do not specify how frequently screening should occur. The new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found supported testing intervals of 16.8 years for women with a normal BMD (T score of -1.00 or higher), 17.3 years for women with mild osteopenia (-1.01 to -1.49), 4.7 years for women with moderate osteopenia (-1.50 to -1.99) and 1.1 years for women with advanced osteopenia (-2.00 to -2.49). Age was a significant factor in progression to osteoporosis, suggesting testing intervals should be shortened as women age, according to the authors. Read the abstract.

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