In order to help evaluate and manage patients with risk factors for osteoporosis, an in-house Bone Densitometry by Accudexa test is employed when indicated for all patients.
Osteoporosis represents a significant cause of morbidity and mortality for the elderly. The disease affects all elderly individuals, but becomes so much more important for women once they are post-menopausal due to the lack of hormonal protection.
Maximum bone density occurs in the early 30's, with a progressive decline thereafter. For women, the decline accelerates at menopause, if hormone replacement is not given. Because of the age dependent bone
loss, all elderly individuals are at risk for fractures. In fact, over one million fractures occur each year with the majority occurring in post-menopausal females.
Other risk factors for osteoporosis include Caucasian race, low body fat, short stature, sedentary lifestyle, positive family history, smoking,
hyperthyroidism, frequent alcohol use, malabsorption problems, certain medications (anticoagulants, steroids, anticonvulsants, excessive thyroid hormones, certain cancer
treatments), anorexia nervosa/bulimia, early menopause, amenorrhea, diet low in calcium, and low testosterone levels in men. Although the literature on the incidence of osteoporosis in minorities is not extensive, there is no reason to think that minority groups are at a decreased risk.