Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 10, October 2010

Bones beyond 70 Insights into osteoporosis management in the elderly

Charles A Inderjeeth Anabela Smeath
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Bone mineral density is presently the only reliable diagnostic test for osteoporosis.
Bone mineral density is subsidised for all patients aged more than 70 years, yet GPs are more likely to request bone mineral density tests only among those who already have a fracture. General practitioner education on the role of bone mineral density testing among all patients aged 70 years or more is important as it influences initiation of appropriate osteoporosis treatment.
Data are available for 114 GPs; 2850 patients (cycle 1) and 1710 patients (cycle 2). Of the 25.4% with a prior fracture, bone mineral density had been assessed in 55.5% (cycle 1) and 67.0% (cycle 2; p<0.05). Among patients with no documented prior fracture, bone mineral density had been assessed in 39.4% (cycle 1) and 56.9% (cycle 2; p<0.05).

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