Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp 1473-1480

First online:

Osteoporosis practice patterns in 2006 among primary care physicians participating in the NORA study

  • T. W. WeissAffiliated withUS Outcomes Research, Merck & Co. Inc. Email author 
  • , E. S. SirisAffiliated withColumbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • , E. Barrett-ConnorAffiliated withUniversity of California
  • , P. D. MillerAffiliated withColorado Center for Bone Research
  • , C. A. McHorneyAffiliated withUS Outcomes Research, Merck & Co. Inc.

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Abstract

Summary

This study investigated osteoporosis management trends from 1998 to 2006 among 808 primary care physicians involved in the US-based NORA (National Osteoporosis Risk Assessment) study. These results suggest some significant improvements in osteoporosis management over the past eight years.

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to investigate osteoporosis management trends among a large cohort of primary care physicians (PCPs) involved in the US-based NORA (National Osteoporosis Risk Assessment) study.

Methods

In 2006, we undertook a resurvey of the 2,836 NORA PCPs who completed a baseline survey in 1998. Of the 2,199 PCPs for whom we had current contact information and who were still practicing, we collected usable surveys from 808 (37% response rate).

Results

From 1998 to 2006, more than double the percentage of NORA PCPs reported using BMDs “often” (35% vs. 87%). There was a doubling of the percentage of NORA PCPs who reported that a T-score of ≤ −2.5 was the threshold indicating the presence of osteoporosis (34% vs. 67%). The percentage of NORA PCPs who reported using bone turnover markers to screen, diagnosis, or monitor osteoporosis almost tripled (19% vs. 55%). The percentage of patients prescribed or recommended hormone therapy dropped sixfold (67% to 11%), and the percentage of patients prescribed bisphosphonates increased fourfold from 15% to 59%.

Conclusion

These results suggest some significant improvements in osteoporosis management over the past eight years.

Keywords

Osteoporosis Physician’s practice patterns Postmenopausal Primary health care