Association Between Screening for Osteoporosis and the Incidence of Hip Fracture

Adults at least 65 years of age who participated in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) comprised the cohort for the present study. The current investigation specifically explored if population-based screening for osteoporosis, or low bone density, was related to lower numbers of hip fractures as compared to standard medical care. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), or bone density scans, were conducted with 1,422 study participants while 1,685 participants received standard care. Participants were followed over a six-year time period with data coming from questionnaires, physical examinations and review of medication bottles.

Key Findings:

  • The incidence rate for hip fractures per 1,000 persons was 4.8 for the group screened for osteoporosis compared to 8.2 for the standard care group.
  • Once propensity scores and sex were controlled, the likelihood of hip fractures was 36 percent lower over the six years of the study for the screened group.
  • A significant relationship existed for participants who were either over age 85 or white, such that fewer hip fractures were related to being screened for low bone density.
  • Results of the study also indicate that screening was beneficial for both women and men.