Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: osteoporosis

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 03 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c643
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner
  1. 1Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

    “One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 in the UK will fracture a bone, mainly as a result of osteoporosis,” says the National Osteoporosis Society. But osteoporosis is an abstract numerical concept. As judged against a young white person at maximum bone density, it is defined as the 1% of people with the lowest bone mineral density shown on dual energy x ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning, while the lowest 16% are defined as having osteopenia (erroneously called preosteoporosis). By this definition …

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