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The interval of osteoporosis screening should be determined by baseline T scores.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Article Citation
PubMed ID: 
Clinical Bottom Lines

Screening for osteoporosis is recommended for all patients 65 years and older. However, it is still not known how frequently bone density examinations should be repeated.

Nearly 5000 women were followed for up to 16 years for the development of osteoporosis with repeated bone density examinations performed during follow up. 10% of participants developed osteoporosis at 1 year, 4 years and 17 years according to baseline bone density scores showing severe osteopenia, moderate osteopenia and mild osteopenia or normal bone density, respectively. The authors concluded that for patients with normal bone density or mild osteopenia, repeat DXA should be performed at 10 years. For patients with moderate or severe baseline bone density, repeat DXA should be performed at 5 and 1-2 years respectively. However, the results also suggest that patients over 85 may need more frequent testing as they may progress to osteoporosis more quickly. 

This is a review of the validity of a single study; the ‘bottom lines’ do not reflect comparison with the rest of the literature on this subject.
Other Information
Created By: 
Arielle Berger, Fellow, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine