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Prevention: Osteoporosis Screening
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by loss of bone tissue that increases the risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. About 10 million persons in the United States have osteoporosis and another 34 million with low bone mass are at risk for developing the disease. Women represent more than two-thirds of Americans at risk for or diagnosed with osteoporosis. White and Asian women are at greater risk for osteoporosis than Black and Hispanic women.37 Because older women are at highest risk for osteoporosis, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends routine osteoporosis screening of women 65 and older.
Figure 4.20. Elderly female Medicare beneficiaries who reported ever being screened for osteoporosis with a bone mass or bone density measurement by race, ethnicity, and income, 2000 and 2002
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Key: API = Asian or Pacific Islander.
Source: Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2000 and 2002.
Reference population: Female Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older living in the community.
- In both years, the proportion of elderly female Medicare beneficiaries who reported ever being screened for osteoporosis with a bone mass or bone density measurement was lower among Blacks and APIs compared with Whites; among Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic Whites; and among poor, near poor, and middle income women compared with high income women (Figure 4.20).
- From 2000 to 2002, the proportion of elderly female Medicare beneficiaries who reported ever being screened for osteoporosis increased among every racial and ethnic population and among near poor women, but the proportion did not change significantly for poor, middle income, and high income women.