Osteoporosis screening can reduce hip fracture risk, study finds

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A new study provides new evidence that osteoporosis screening helps to reduce fracture risk.

The study found that screening for osteoporosis with bone density scans was associated with 36% fewer hip fractures over six years, compared with usual medical care. Results are in the Feb. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study included 3,107 women and men over the age of 65. Participants already diagnosed with osteoporosis or a previous hip fracture and those taking bisphosphonate drugs were excluded. Researchers followed participants for up to six years and collected information about hip fractures by using hospital records.

Debate still continues among experts about the effectiveness of this procedure in preventing fracture. While two major organizations recommend screening for all women 65 years of age and older, a consensus development panel at the National Institutes of Health did not endorse screening, citing a lack of evidence to support its use.