The effectiveness of blood tests in detecting secondary osteoporosis or mimicking conditions in postmenopausal women
Cooper A., Brew S., De Lusignan S.
The National Service Framework for Older People requires a reduction in the number of falls that result in serious injury. Those most at risk need to be identified, investigated in line with the Royal College of Physicians Clinical Guidelines and receive appropriate treatment. This report looks at the results of investigation of postmenopausal women diagnosed as having osteoporosis in primary care by forearm Dexa scanner (DTX200) and questions whether the investigations suggested within the National Service Framework are justifiable. Scans were performed on 699 postmenopausal women aged 54 or over, resulting in a new diagnosis of osteoporosis in 173 women. Complete blood tests were performed in 107 of the newly diagnosed patients. Only three of these patients (2.8%) had blood test results that revealed a potential secondary cause. The rates of positive findings are low; further research is needed to see if they are justified in postmenopausal women.