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New Recommendations for Osteoporosis Screening

At-Risk Postmenopausal Women Should Get Bone Density Measured

Lingering Uncertainty About the Benefits of Measuring Bone Mass

Despite the new guidelines, the scientists who reviewed the evidence behind them note that there are no controlled studies that have ever looked at whether screening reduces fractures or their associated health consequences.

“We really don’t have studies that do that big-picture look,” says Heidi Nelson, MD, MPH, a professor of medical informatics at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, who led the review.

Instead, she says, the panel had to piece together a chain of indirect evidence of benefit from trials that looked at the effects of drug treatments, for example.

For men, the panel found that a distinct lack of evidence.

“Actual trials of the medications used to treat low bone mass are really lacking in men,” Nelson says.

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