Osteoporosis: NHANES data favored for T score determination

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  • In diagnosing osteopenia and osteoporosis, bone mineral density (BMD) from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) remains the standard; but interpretation of BMD values is affected by choice of reference populations, and BMD is not the only known fragility fracture risk.

Why this matters

  • Small changes in T scores or Z scores may affect treatment recommendations.

Study design

  • A review of the use of DXA results in the diagnosis of low bone density and fracture risk.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • As BMD declines with age, the WHO-recommended use of a young population reference for T scores, instead of an age-matched reference (Z scores), dictates that incidence of osteoporosis and osteopenia will greatly increase with age.
  • WHO recommends NHANE...