Experts from the US Preventative Services Task Force have reviewed information from a wide variety of studies and have changed the recommendation for osteoporosis screenings based on their findings. The panel has upheld the recommendation that all women over 65 should undergo a bone density screening but has changed the recommendation for women who are considered high risk.
The new guidelines suggest that all post menopausal women, regardless of age, who’ve got other risk factors for osteoporosis, undergo a bone density screening. This is the first time that screenings have been recommended for women under the age of 60 and it could go a long way in helping to minimize the physical and financial burden for at risk women.
Some factors that could potentially increase the risk of osteoporosis are history of alcohol abuse, history of smoking and having parents with a history of fractures. Women who are post menopausal should consult their health care providers to discuss their individual risk for osteoporosis and to determine if a bone density screening is necessary for their situation.
Under current government regulations insurance companies are required to provide the tests recommended by the USPSTF free of charge to qualifying patients. This could result in early detection of the warning signs of osteoporosis and help health care providers to prescribe courses of treatment that may reduce the possibility of fractures in women who are at risk.