, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 72-78
Date: 28 Jul 2005

Effects of Lifestyle and Risk Factors on Bone Mineral Density in a Cohort of Italian Women: Suggestion for a New Decision Rule

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In this study the authors analyzed the role of risk factors in postmenopausal osteoporosis in a cohort of Italian women and evaluated predictive values of decision rules for early identification of osteoporotic women. Furthermore, the authors investigated the prevalence of secondary osteoporosis in this population. Women who underwent bone densitometry were asked to answer a questionnaire about the common risk factors for osteoporosis. Patients were classified as nonosteoporotic, nonosteopenic, and osteoporotic. Risk factors were compared among the groups by use of analysis of variance (ANOVA). National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommendation, Osteoporosis Risk Assessment Instruments (ORAIs), Osteoporosis Self-Assessment Tools (OST) score, and weight criterion were applied to this population. The authors proposed a new decision rule based on a new score. A total of 525 women received the questionnaire: 47.4% women were osteoporotic, 32.2% were osteopenic, and 20.4% nonosteoporotic. Risk factors that differed significantly between these groups were: age, age at menarche, postmenopausal period, and body mass index (BMI); the aforementioned risk factors appear to be significant predictors of bone density (BMD) in linear regression model. The incidence of secondary osteoporosis was 13%.

In conclusion, the authors (1) confirmed the role played by nonmodifiable risk factors in determining BMD; (2) showed that the use of NOF guidelines, ORAI, OST score, and weight criterion is not satisfactory in our cohort; (3) suggested a new score, based upon the features that were significantly different between patients and controls; and (4) demonstrated the relatively high prevalence of secondary osteoporosis and suggest a primary screening for secondary osteoporosis in all patients with low BMD.