MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Berry: Repeating a bone mineral density (BMD) screening test in 4 years provided little additional value beyond baseline BMD when assessing fracture risk. Also, the second BMD measure resulted in little change in risk classification that is commonly used in clinical management of osteoporosis.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Berry: A first, or initial, BMD screening test does a good job identifying individuals at risk for fracture. Repeating a BMD screening test 4 years later does not provide much additional information beyond the initial screening test.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Berry: The routine practice of repeating a BMD screening test every two years may not be necessary in all older adults untreated for osteoporosis. Instead, patients and providers should routinely reassess fracture risk using clinical characteristics, such as current age or recent fracture history, or by re-estimating the 10 year risk of fracture with FRAX®, using historic BMD and all updated clinical characteristics. This approach emphasizes the reliance on clinically available information before ordering additional tests.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Berry: Future studies should determine an appropriate rescreening interval for persons at risk for osteoporosis, and seek to identify individuals that are likely to transition from low to high fracture risk that may benefit from repeat BMD screening.
Repeat Bone Mineral Density Screening and Prediction of Hip and Major Osteoporotic Fracture
Berry SD, Samelson EJ, Pencina MJ, et al. Repeat Bone Mineral Density Screening and Prediction of Hip and Major Osteoporotic Fracture. JAMA. 2013;310(12):1256-1262. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277817.