Women on Osteoporosis Drugs Still Need Bone Density Screenings
Women with osteoporosis who take drugs to help avoid fractures still need to have their bone density monitored, a Canadian study suggests.
Researchers who studied more than 6,600 women taking osteoporosis drugs found that for nearly one in five, bone mineral density at the hip actually decreased after the women started taking the medication.
The hip “is an excellent site for monitoring bone mineral density because it predicts fractures, can be measured with great reliability making it easier to detect small changes, and is not affected by age-related problems like spinal arthritis,” said lead study author Dr. William Leslie, a radiology researcher at the University of Manitoba.
The findings suggest it may be time for some physicians to rethink their reluctance to get women bone mineral density tests after they start medication, Leslie said.
Whether to send women for these tests – also called DEXA scans, for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry – once they start therapy “has been controversial,” he added by email. “It is relatively inexpensive but adds to the cost of care while there has been little scientific data to answer the question of whether a change in bone mineral density while receiving treatment tells us anything about that person’s ongoing fracture risk.”
During menopause and afterward, the body slows production of new bone tissue and women can face an increased risk of osteoporosis… Read More>>