Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Monitoring Bone Density In Older Women Is Unnecessary And Potentially Misleading, Study Suggests

Date:
June 24, 2009
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Monitoring bone mineral density in post-menopausal women taking osteoporosis drugs (bisphosphonates) is unnecessary and potentially misleading, concludes a new study.

Monitoring bone mineral density in postmenopausal women taking osteoporosis drugs (bisphosphonates) is unnecessary and potentially misleading, concludes a study published on the British Medical Journal website.

Related Articles


Osteoporosis is a major public health problem, particularly in older women because bone density falls after the menopause as oestrogen levels dwindle. Low bone mineral density is an important risk factor for fractures.

Some guidelines recommend regular monitoring of bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, but it is costly and some experts question whether it is able to show how a patient is responding to treatment.

So researchers based in Australia and the USA assessed the need for monitoring by estimating how much the effects of the drug alendronate (a widely used bisphosphonate) differ between individuals.

They analysed data from the Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT), a large randomised trial that compared the effects of alendronate with placebo in over 6,000 postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density. Bone density of the hip and spine was measured at the start of the study and then again one, two and three years later.

After three years of therapy, almost all (97.5%) women treated with alendronate showed at least a modest increase in hip bone mineral density. Moreover, this treatment effect did not vary substantially between individuals. This, say the authors, makes monitoring individuals' response to treatment unnecessary.

Another reason often given for monitoring is to improve adherence to treatment. However, most problems occur within three months of starting treatment - much earlier than the first measurement at one year, explain the authors. Evidence also shows that discussing problems with a healthcare professional a few months after starting treatment improves adherence.

Monitoring bone mineral density in postmenopausal women in the first three years after starting treatment with a bisphosphonate is unnecessary and, because of the potential to mislead, is best avoided, they conclude.

These findings strengthen the case against routine monitoring of bone mineral density during the first few years of treatment, writes Juliet Compston, Professor of Bone Medicine at the University of Cambridge, in an accompanying editorial. The clear implication for clinical practice is that patients may be given inappropriate advice if changes in bone mineral density are used to monitor treatment.

She concludes: "Routine monitoring of bone mineral density during the first few years of antiresorptive treatment cannot be justified because it may mislead patients, lead to inappropriate management decisions, and waste scarce healthcare resources."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Monitoring Bone Density In Older Women Is Unnecessary And Potentially Misleading, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093351.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2009, June 24). Monitoring Bone Density In Older Women Is Unnecessary And Potentially Misleading, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093351.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Monitoring Bone Density In Older Women Is Unnecessary And Potentially Misleading, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093351.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins