Posts Tagged ‘Bone Mineral Density’
Fracture Risk is the elephant in the room. Fractures can keep you from doing what you want for weeks or months. Fractures can put you in a Nursing Home, sometimes forever. Complications of fractures can kill you. Fractures are what you want to avoid if at all possible.
Increased Fracture Risk was defined as Clinical Osteoporosis by NIH in 2000. We may still think of Osteoporosis as a T-score of -2.5 on DXA. This is inaccurate. Fracture Risk increases with age and other factors at any given T-score. Over 80% of the persons who fracture have a T-score better than -2.5 !!! Accurately calculating your true Fracture Risk requires a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
The International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) met last week. Our society has been dedicated to properly evaluating DXA to determine Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and t-score. Now ISCD is taking the next step.
The recurring theme at the 2014 ISCD joint meeting with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) was that DXA, BMD, and t-score are only tools to reach the real goal. The real goal is Preventing Fractures. DXA, BMD, and t-score alone do not get us to that goal. As health care providers, we can best prevent fractures by evaluating the reasons for Fracture Risk, and correcting those issues.
Several patients in the last month have decided not to take the “unnatural” risk of taking medication for their Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. They have been scared by the media emphasis on rare possible risks and side effects of taking osteoporosis medication. They are not aware of the much greater Natural Fracture Risk of being a Post-menopausal Woman.
One patient specifically cited the risk of OsteoNecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) as her reason. Her risk of ONJ if she takes an Antiresorptive is less than 1 /10,000 per year. Her FRAX calculation shows a total fracture risk of 1/10 per year and hip fracture of 1/35 per year if she does not take medication. She is 1000 times more likely to fracture without medication as she is to have ONJ with medication. Natural Risk can be a Bummer!
Several years ago researchers discovered that women with breast cancer had much lower blood levels of Vitamin D than women without breast cancer. Another study showed that, among women being treated for breast cancer, those with low Vitamin D levels were only half as likely to survive. Patients with other cancers show similar patterns.
Now we have a study which points out that this does not prove that low Vitamin D causes cancer. True. The new theory is that cancer causes low Vitamin D levels. However, there is no proof of that either, and I find it hard to believe. What does this all mean?