Check bone strength via density test -New U.S. Guidelines

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Osteoporosis is one of the most common health threats among people with old age. It affects an estimated 10 million people in the US, over the age of 50, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Thirty four million people have low bone density, which leads to the increased risk of developing the bone diseases. Women are the most common target of the osteoporosis, after menopause. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended earlier (2002) a bone density test at least once for all women age 65 and older. Recently USPSTF has issued guidelines with modifications.

What is the osteoporosis and bone density test?
Osteoporosis is a condition of porous and thinning of bone due to demineralization of calcium. The person with osteoporosis will have weaker bones and have a higher risk of bone fracture in future. 

The bone density test is used to measure the strength of bones. DEXA or “dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry,” is considered the most accurate test to detect the level of calcium. 

What are the new guidelines for bone density test?
USPSTF has issued a new bone density screening guidelines that recommends women as young as 50 should be checked for osteoporosis. They also commented the first time, if men should be checked for their bone density status.

What is the basis for new bone density guideline?
The USPSTF panel used a web-based risk calculator called FRAX to examine a person’s odds of experiencing a fracture...



within 10 years. The panel found that women as young as 50 may meet the threshold for bone density screening depending on their risk factors.

 

Has new guidelines been affected?
The new bone density screening guideline is in a draft form and is opened for public comment until August 3, 2010 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. If you are interested in giving your input, please click on the link USPSTF website. (to be linked)

There are various unavoidable health conditions that typically begin after certain age, probably due to hormonal changes in the body. Osteoporosis is one of them that typically begin after menopause.  Thinning bones increases the risk of broken bones, the most dangerous of which are broken hips, and costs health care system as much as $18 billion per year. I believe USPSTF has taken a good step to increase the bone density test age limit for women and is also considering men.

 Source: Foxnews

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