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Nutrients 2010, 2(9), 985-996; doi:10.3390/nu2090985
Article

Bone Density Testing: An Under-Utilised and Under-Researched Health Education Tool for Osteoporosis Prevention?

1,* , 2
 and
1
1 Menzies Research Institute, Private Bag 23, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia 2 International Public Health Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne 3004, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2010 / Revised: 18 August 2010 / Accepted: 20 August 2010 / Published: 16 September 2010
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Abstract

Feedback of fracture risk based on bone mineral density (BMD) is an under-explored potential osteoporosis education intervention. We performed a randomised controlled trial of either an osteoporosis information leaflet or small group education (the Osteoporosis Prevention and Self-Management Course (OPSMC)), combined with individualised fracture risk feedback in premenopausal women over two years. Women with a mean T-score at spine and hip of < 0 were informed they were at higher risk of fracture in later life and those with T-score ≥ 0 were informed they were not. Women receiving feedback of high fracture risk had a greater increase in femoral neck, but not lumbar spine, BMD compared to the low risk group (1.6% p.a. vs. 0.7% p.a., p = 0.0001). Participation in the OPSMC had no greater effect on BMD than receiving the leaflet. Femoral neck BMD change was associated with starting calcium supplements (1.3% p.a., 95% CI +0.49, +2.17) and self-reported physical activity change (0.7% p.a., 95% CI +0.22, +1.22). Mother’s report of increasing their children’s calcium intake was associated with receiving the OPSMC (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4, 3.8) and feedback of high fracture risk (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2, 3.3). Fracture risk feedback based on BMD could potentially make an important contribution to osteoporosis prevention but confirmation of long-term benefits and cost effectiveness is needed before implementation can be recommended.
Keywords: osteoporosis; prevention; calcium; physical activity; bone density osteoporosis; prevention; calcium; physical activity; bone density
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Winzenberg, T.; Oldenburg, B.; Jones, G. Bone Density Testing: An Under-Utilised and Under-Researched Health Education Tool for Osteoporosis Prevention? Nutrients 2010, 2, 985-996.

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