Importance: By 2020, approximately 12.3 million individuals in the United States older than 50 years are expected to have osteoporosis. Osteoporotic fractures, particularly hip fractures, are associated with limitations in ambulation, chronic pain and disability, loss of independence, and decreased quality of life, and 21% to 30% of patients who experience a hip fracture die within 1 year. The prevalence of primary osteoporosis (ie, osteoporosis without underlying disease) increases with age and differs by race/ethnicity. With the aging of the US population, the potential preventable burden is likely to increase in future years.
Objective: To update the 2011 US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for osteoporosis.
Evidence review: The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on screening for and treatment of osteoporotic fractures in men and women, as well as risk assessment tools, screening intervals, and efficacy of screening and treatment in subgroups. The screening population was postmenopausal women and older men with no known previous osteoporotic fractures and no known comorbid conditions or medication use associated with secondary osteoporosis.
Findings: The USPSTF found convincing evidence that bone measurement tests are accurate for detecting osteoporosis and predicting osteoporotic fractures in women and men. The USPSTF found adequate evidence that clinical risk assessment tools are moderately accurate in identifying risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. The USPSTF found convincing evidence that drug therapies reduce subsequent fracture rates in postmenopausal women. The USPSTF found that the evidence is inadequate to assess the effectiveness of drug therapies in reducing subsequent fracture rates in men without previous fractures.
Conclusions and recommendation: The USPSTF recommends screening for osteoporosis with bone measurement testing to prevent osteoporotic fractures in women 65 years and older. (B recommendation) The USPSTF recommends screening for osteoporosis with bone measurement testing to prevent osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women younger than 65 years at increased risk of osteoporosis, as determined by a formal clinical risk assessment tool. (B recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for osteoporosis to prevent osteoporotic fractures in men. (I statement).