Study points out racial disparity in osteoporosis screening and treatment

December 7, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic research

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Osteoporosis, or low bone mass, can lead to bone fragility and an increased risk for fractures, which is why individuals should take proper care of their bones from an early age, as well as get screened regularly for the condition to avoid further complications. However, new orthopaedic research shows that there may be a racial disparity among women when it comes to getting screened and treated for osteoporosis.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin looked at whether 500 Caucasian women and 500 African American women eligible to be tested for osteoporosis completed a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) screening, a test that can determine if an individual has low bone mass. They discovered that 29.8 and 38.5 percent of African American and Caucasian women, respectively, were referred to a DXA.

In addition, African American women were less likely than Caucasian women to receive medication for osteoporosis.

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, approximately 40 million men and women in the U.S. have osteoporosis or are at high risk for the condition.

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