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Older Black Women May Have Osteoporosis


 

RIO GRANDE, P.R. — Approximately one in four elderly black women have osteoporosis, findings from a small study suggest.

Physicians should not ignore the possibility of osteoporosis in their older black female patients, although these women are not usually considered at high risk, compared with other demographic groups, said Dr. Sally P. Weaver, research director of the McLennan County Medical Education and Research Foundation, Waco, Texas.

Previous studies of osteoporosis in women have focused mainly on white women because of evidence of an elevated risk for osteoporosis in that population. Yet older women of any ethnicity are prone to age-related fractures if their bone mineral density (BMD) is low, she said in an interview.

Dr. Weaver and her colleagues measured BMD scans from the electronic health records of 44 black women aged 70 years and older. Patients with conditions that could affect bone turnover, vitamin D absorption, or calcium absorption were excluded from the study.

About 50% of the study participants met the criteria for osteopenia and 10% met the criteria for osteoporosis at the left femoral neck. Approximately 25% met criteria for osteopenia or osteoporosis at the lumbar spine. Overall, the left femoral neck had the lowest regional BMD, with an average T score of −1.23. Dr. Weaver presented the results in a poster at the annual meeting of the North American Primary Care Research Group.

Dr. Weaver had no financial conflicts to disclose.

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