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Osteoporosis Screening Up Dramatically In Minority Women

 The proportion of women age 65 and over on Medicare who said that they had been screened for osteoporosis increased from 34 percent in 2001 to 64 percent in 2006, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

According to the survey by the federal agency, white women experienced the geatest increase in bone density or bone mass screenings during the period (36 percent to 67 percent). 

The agency’s analysis found that:

  • Hispanic women reported the most dramatic increase in screening, from 22 percent to 55 percent.
  • The percentage of black women who reported undergoing osteoporosis screening also rose significantly, from 16 percent to 38 percent.
  • While all women reported increases in osteoporosis screening, income was a factor. By 2006, only 46 percent of poor women reported having had  a screening test,  compared with 80 percent of high-income women.   

Two-thirds of the estimated 34 million Americans at risk of developing osteoporosis are women. The disease can lead to bone fracture, reduced mobility and even death. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends routine osteoporosis screening of women age 65 and older.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from pages 80 to 82 in the 2009 National Healthcare Disparities Report, which examines the disparities in Americans' access to and quality of health care, with breakdowns by race, ethnicity, income, and education.

For other information please contact Bob Isquith at mailto:Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1539.

 


 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) · 540 Gaither Road · Rockville MD 20850 · 301-427-1364 



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