December 1998 Bulletin

NOF issues guide to osteoporosis

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) has issued recommendations for managing and preventing osteoporosis, including specific guidelines on the use of bone mineral density (BMD) tests.

The Physician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis was developed by NOF in collaboration with 10 medical organizations, including the Academy. Joseph M. Lane, MD, and Laura L. Tosi, MD, represented the Academy. Other participating organizations were the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Radiology, American College of Rheumatology, American Geriatrics Society, American Medical Association, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and the Endocrine Society.

The guide gives specific recommendations for white women, the population at highest risk for the disease and about whom most of the data exists. The recommendations specify that that people who should have a BMD test are women 65 and older, regardless of other risk factors; postmenopausal women who have one or more risk factors for osteoporotic fracture (besides menopause); and all postmenopausal women who have a fracture. All menopausal women who present with vertebral or hip fractures, two of the most common osteoporosis fracture sites, should be considered candidates for osteoporosis treatment.

"Osteoporosis is a 'silent' risk factor for fracture, just as hypertension is for stroke," said NOF president Robert Lindsay, MD, PhD.

A copy of the NOF guide on osteoporosis, accompanied by a letter from James D. Heckman, MD, Academy president, is being mailed to all Academy fellows.

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