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AHRQ Report Details Evidence for Diagnosing and Monitoring Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women

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Press Release Date: April 9, 2001

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the availability of a summary of an evidence report on diagnosis and monitoring for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The evidence report was developed under contract with AHRQ's Oregon Health Sciences University Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC).

The report found that bone density measured at the hip by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the best predictor of hip fracture. However, it 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 two years after starting therapy is useful. In addition, the report also found a lack of evidence to support the use of biochemical markers for risk assessment and treatment monitoring. The authors suggest future research should focus on the application of research data in the clinical setting and on the quality of information provided to patients who undergo bone measurement tests.

The summary of the evidence report, Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women: Diagnosis and Monitoring, is available online at and from the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) (select NGC Resources). Printed copies are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 800-358-9295. Copies of the full report are expected to be available from the Clearinghouse in mid-2001.

For additional information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Nancy Comfort, (301) 427-1866 (


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