Objective: To investigate the common assertion that osteoporosis is underdiagnosed in the skilled nursing facility setting. Methods: Skilled nursing facilities participated in a nationwide heel-screening study conducted by their local consultant pharmacists. The nursing facility residents were categorized into 4 age groups: 59 years and younger; 60 to 69 years; 70 to 79 years; and 80 years and older. Residents were screened on a voluntary basis. Heel scanning was performed using a peripheral dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (pDXA) machine, and the data were collected by an independent contractor (On-Site Wellness). Residents were grouped by low, moderate, or high risk for osteoporosis based on their bone mineral density (BMD) T-scores. Bedridden patients, patients with a short life expectancy, and those currently receiving osteoporosis therapy were excluded from the study. Results: A total of 34,486 residents of skilled nursing facilities in 26 states were screened, 7728 (22.4%) of whom were grouped as low risk, 12,095 (35.1%) as moderate risk, and 14,663 (42.5%) as high risk for osteoporosis and related fracture. Findings by state were comparable to those for the total study population. Conclusion: This large-scale heel-screening study suggests a considerable prevalence of undiagnosed osteoporosis (as measured by peripheral DXA scans) in skilled nursing facilities, underscoring the need for more vigilant awareness of fracture risk in these patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of the American Medical Directors Association|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2008|
- peripheral DXA scan
- skilled nursing facilities
ASJC Scopus subject areas