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New 2011 Guidelines in Osteoporosis Screening

Author C. Sanders. Published on June 18, 2011 - 11:47 pm (2507 views — 375 words)

For almost a decade, several international as well as national health agencies have come up with various osteoporosis screening guidelines. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), and National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG) are samples of organizations that release screening guidelines. These two organizations met the criteria set by the World Health Organization when they developed their own osteoporosis screening guidelines.

The WHO developed a useful tool for osteoporosis screening known as FRAX Assessment Tool which is often utilized.

Not so long ago, a more updated set of osteoporosis screening guidelines for the United States were suggested by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). This group is especially tasked to make serious suggestions and recommendations, which can be of great use when it comes to early detection. To illustrate an example, NOGG previously set osteoporosis screening guidelines, which should qualify women who are at least 60 years old.

Lately, some guidelines have been modified, which includes early screening for women aged between 50-64 years old.

The main purpose behind these updates lies on determining bone fracture risk that can happen in the next ten years. Additionally, early screening is really necessary because there can be contributory factors that contribute to osteoporosis. For example, some women who over-exercise may miss their monthly period and lose a lot of weight. If such women always subject themselves to strenuous work-outs, these fitness conscious women can be impaired by osteoporosis. Likewise, when women smoke or drink too much alcohol, they can definitely acquire osteoporosis at a younger age.

Lately, osteoporosis screening requires several laboratory tests. Among these tests is dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) which measures bone density on the spine, hip and wrist because these are the areas often affected by osteoporosis. Certain tests like an ultrasound, CT scanning and single photon absorptiometry are often part of the screening process suggested by doctors.

Having said that, people must know some risks associated with osteoporosis screening as well. According to health professionals, women who are at a low-risk for osteoporosis should avoid early screening. Why? The results can indicate a false positive which eventually leads to taking medications that can be harmful to women. While osteoporosis screening is a good idea, you still need to know if you need one.