Older adults with fracture should get test

May 15, 2012 at 2:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- Fifty percent of osteoporosis-related repeat fractures can be prevented, but only 2-in-10 bone breaks get a follow-up osteoporosis test, U.S. bone experts say.

The National Bone Health Alliance, a public-private partnership with 42 member organizations, is urging for those age 50 and older to request a test after suffering an initial fracture.

The public education campaign 2Million2Many -- www.2Million2Many.org -- reflects the 2 million bone breaks that occur in the United States each year caused by osteoporosis.

"The sad reality is that the vast majority of patients over age 50 presenting with their first bone break are not tested for osteoporosis, placing them at the highest risk to suffer another bone break which could cause severe debilitation or even death," Dr. Robert Lindsay, chief of internal medicine at Helen Hayes Hospital and professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University, said in a statement.

"The number of annual fractures is expected to swell to around 3 million and cost the healthcare system $25 billion per year by 2025."

Half of women and a quarter of men age 50 and older will suffer a bone break caused caused by osteoporosis in their lifetimes, Lindsay said.

The campaign built "Cast Mountain" -- a 12-foot tall mountain of 5,500 casts representing the number of bone breaks that occur in just one day due to osteoporosis. The display will be touring the country at various events.

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