|March 2005 · Vol. 17, No. 3
Does menopause always justify bone density testing?
Anne has new-onset hot flashes, Beth’s mother broke a hip, Carol thinks she’s not at risk, Donna has 6 risk factors. Is bone density testing appropriate?
IN THIS ARTICLE
4 case studies
Drug treatment based on T-scores and risk factors Reasonable options if T-score is borderline
When is a follow-up in 1 year vital? When is a 2- or 3-year interval safe?
BMD test techniques, sites, and T-scores
Calcium supplements have not been found to offset bone loss due to estrogen deficiency
Estrogen deficiency, if allowed to further deplete lower-than-average bone mass, will rapidly devastate skeletal structure
Major risk factors
The guidelines aren’t rules. There is no substitute for your judgment
Medical Director, Clinical Research Center of North Texas, Adjunct Professor, Departments of Kinesiology and Biology, University of North Texas,
This question begs for a simple yes or no, but it is best answered by asking a second question, “Do I need to know my patient’s bone density to give her the best care possible at menopause?” If the answer is yes, then bone density testing is a must, because there is no other way to know what her bone density actually is.
How, then, does this knowledge affect clinical decision-making?