BACKGROUND: Guidelines exist for treatment of low bone mineral density (BMD). Little is known about patient characteristics associated with use of treatment. OBJECTIVES: To determine patient-related correlates of medication use following screening dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of older adults. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study. SETTING: Pittsburgh, PA and Memphis, TN. PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling women between the ages 70 and 79 years enrolled in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. MEASUREMENTS: Risk factors for fracture and BMD of the hip were assessed at baseline. Patients and their community physicians were supplied the results of the DXA scan. Prescription and over-the-counter medication use was collected at annual exams for 2 years. RESULTS: Of 1,584 women enrolled in Health ABC, 378 had an indication for antifracture therapy and were not receiving such treatment at baseline. By the second annual follow-up examination, prescription antiresorptive medication was reported in 49 (13.0%), whereas 65 (17.2%) received calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation. In adjusted models, the strongest predictor for use of any antifracture medicine was presence of osteoporosis [vs osteopenia, odds ratio (OR), 2.9 (1.7 to 4.7)], white race [OR, 2.6 (1.5 to 4.8)], and receipt of the flu shot [OR, 2.2 (1.3 to 3.8)]. Neither a history of falls nor prior fracture was associated with use of antifracture medications. CONCLUSION: Even when physicians of study participants were provided with DXA scan results, 70% of older high-functioning women with an indication for therapy did not start or remain on an antifracture therapy. Substantial room for improvement exists in fracture prevention following a diagnosis of low BMD - especially among women with a history of falls, prior fractures, and among black women.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine