Bone Density Testing: An Under-Utilised and Under-Researched Health Education Tool for Osteoporosis Prevention?
Tania Winzenberg, Brian Oldenburg and Graeme Jones
Nutrients 2010, 2(9), 985-996; doi:10.3390/nu2090985 Received: 3 August 2010; in revised form: 18 August 2010 / Accepted: 20 August 2010 / Published: 16 September 2010
Abstract: Feedback of fracture risk based on bone mineral density (BMD) is an under-explored potential osteoporosis education intervention. We performed a randomised controlled trial of either an osteoporosis information leaflet or small group education (the Osteoporosis Prevention and Self-Management Course (OPSMC)), combined with individualised fracture risk feedback in premenopausal women over two years. Women with a mean T-score at spine and hip of < 0 were informed they were at higher risk of fracture in later life and those with T-score ? 0 were informed they were not. Women receiving feedback of high fracture risk had a greater increase in femoral neck, but not lumbar spine, BMD compared to the low risk group (1.6% p.a. vs. 0.7% p.a., p = 0.0001). Participation in the OPSMC had no greater effect on BMD than receiving the leaflet. Femoral neck BMD change was associated with starting calcium supplements (1.3% p.a., 95% CI +0.49, +2.17) and self-reported physical activity change (0.7% p.a., 95% CI +0.22, +1.22). Mother’s report of increasing their children’s calcium intake was associated with receiving the OPSMC (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4, 3.8) and feedback of high fracture risk (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2, 3.3). Fracture risk feedback based on BMD could potentially make an important contribution to osteoporosis prevention but confirmation of long-term benefits and cost effectiveness is needed before implementation can be recommended.