, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 1963-1967,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Jan 2009

Factors associated with diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in older adults

Abstract

Summary

Osteoporosis is often undiagnosed and untreated. We surveyed 1,830 adults and identified factors associated with osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment. Individuals with several risk factors, including older age, were not more likely to be diagnosed or treated. Measures should be taken to improve osteoporosis identification and treatment in high-risk patients.

Introduction

We aimed to identify patient characteristics associated with osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment.

Methods

Survey was mailed to 1,830 women and men ≥60 years old in Pennsylvania. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to determine odds ratios for osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment for individuals with established osteoporosis risk factors.

Results

Surveys were completed by 1,268 adults (69.3%). Osteoporosis diagnosis was more commonly reported by participants with risk factors of female sex (OR, 3.60; 95% CI 2.31–5.61), prolonged oral steroid use (OR, 3.76, 95% CI 2.06–6.84), low-trauma fracture (OR, 2.14, 95% CI 1.44–3.17), height loss (OR, 1.83, 95% CI 1.28–2.64), and lower weight (OR, 1.35 per 11.4 kg decrease in weight; 95% CI, 1.16–1.56). Age and family history of osteoporosis were not predictive of osteoporosis diagnosis, when adjusting for other risk factors. Osteoporosis treatment was more commonly reported by participants with risk factors of female sex (OR, 5.19; 95% CI, 3.31–8.13), family history (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.55–3.06), height loss (OR, 1.79; 95% CI 1.29–2.49), low-trauma fracture (OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.14–2.42), and lower weight (OR, 1.45 per 11.4 kg decrease in weight; 95% CI, 1.27–1.67). Osteoporosis treatment was not significantly associated with age or prolonged oral steroid use.

Conclusions

Individuals with several established osteoporosis risk factors are more likely to be underdiagnosed or undertreated.