Construction and validation of a population-based bone densitometry database

J Clin Densitom. 2005 Spring;8(1):25-30. doi: 10.1385/jcd:8:1:025.


Utilization of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for the initial diagnostic assessment of osteoporosis and in monitoring treatment has risen dramatically in recent years. Population-based studies of the impact of DXA and osteoporosis remain challenging because of incomplete and fragmented test data that exist in most regions. Our aim was to create and assess completeness of a database of all clinical DXA services and test results for the province of Manitoba, Canada and to present descriptive data resulting from testing. A regionally based bone density program for the province of Manitoba, Canada was established in 1997. Subsequent DXA services were prospectively captured in a program database. This database was retrospectively populated with earlier DXA results dating back to 1990 (the year that the first DXA scanner was installed) by integrating multiple data sources. A random chart audit was performed to assess completeness and accuracy of this dataset. For comparison, testing rates determined from the DXA database were compared with physician administrative claims data. There was a high level of completeness of this database (>99%) and accurate personal identifier information sufficient for linkage with other health care administrative data (>99%). This contrasted with physician billing data that were found to be markedly incomplete. Descriptive data provide a profile of individuals receiving DXA and their test results. In conclusion, the Manitoba bone density database has great potential as a resource for clinical and health policy research because it is population based with a high level of completeness and accuracy.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnosis
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / epidemiology
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manitoba / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology