About 30 million women in the U.S. have osteoporosis, with low bone mass and deteriorating bone structure that increases their risk for fractures. Racial differences in the rates of detection and management of osteoporosis were explored in a study of African American and white women published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website at http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh.
The study, "Osteoporosis Health Care Disparities in Postmenopausal Women," compared referral rates for and the results of bone mineral density screening with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans and medication prescribing for women found to have low bone mineral density.
Irene Hamrick, MD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Qing Cao, MD and Doyle Cummings PharmD, East Carolina University, and Dorothy Agbafe-Mosley, MD, Wilmington, NC, reported that only about a third of eligible women in the study, who were 60 years of age or older and seen in a primary care practice, completed DXA scan screening to determine their osteoporosis risk.
"The results of this study indicate that new strategies are needed to improve rates of screening and treatment for osteoporosis in primary care settings, especially for African American women," says Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.