Osteoporosis :: Osteoporosis screening, therapy is cost effective

Screening all postmenopausal women for osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, using bone densitometry and treatment of women found to have this condition is highly cost effective, regardless of age.

“Even among the oldest of the elderly, bone densitometry and treatment of those with osteoporosis is worthwhile,” Dr. John T. Schousboe from Park Nicollet Health Services, Minneapolis, Minnesota told.

“Organizing processes of care to encourage widespread bone densitometry among women age 65 and older and treatment of those found to have osteoporosis is highly cost-effective and necessary if we are to make better progress reducing the health burden of osteoporotic fractures.”

Schousboe and colleagues investigated the lifetime health benefits and costs from a societal perspective of screening all women 65 years of age or older for osteoporosis, followed by treatment with alendronate (Fosamax) for those with hip density scores indicating bone thinning.

Not only did this strategy cost less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained at all ages, the authors report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, but also the cost effectiveness improved with increasing age.

Leave a Comment