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AHRQ publishes evidence report summaries on osteoporosis and four other topics

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently published summaries of five evidence reports, including one on diagnosis and monitoring for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The evidence report from which the osteoporosis summary was drawn was developed under contract (290-97-0018) with AHRQ's Oregon Health & Science University Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC).

The EPC researchers found that bone density measured at the hip by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the best predictor of hip fracture. However, they also found that the weight of evidence does not recommend repeating bone density tests within the first year of treatment. There was insufficient evidence to determine whether repeating bone density tests 2 years after starting therapy is useful. The researchers also found a lack of evidence to support the use of biochemical markers for risk assessment and treatment monitoring. They suggest that future research efforts focus on the application of data in the clinical setting and on the quality of information provided to patients who undergo bone measurement tests.

Print copies of the summary of the evidence report, Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women: Diagnosis and Monitoring (AHRQ Publication No. 01-E031) are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse. The summary is also available online and at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (select NGC Resources). Copies of the full report (AHRQ Publication No. 01-E032) will be available from AHRQ in late summer 2001.

Other evidence report summaries released recently by AHRQ include:

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