Send to

Choose Destination
Public Health. 1997 May;111(3):191-4.

The contribution of bone densitometry to the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Author information

Department of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Nottingham Medical School.



It has recently been proposed that a specialist osteoporosis service, including bone densitometry, should be made available to those most at risk in the UK population. The aim of this study was to evaluate such a service, and in particular the role of bone densitometry, in terms of its effect on the diagnosis of osteoporosis and clinical management of the disease.


A retrospective data abstraction study was performed to investigate the diagnosis and management of patients referred to the Metabolic Clinic, City Hospital Nottingham, with a potential diagnosis of osteoporosis. Hospital records were available for 117 patients, aged between 45 and 59, who had attended the Clinic in a given time period and undergone bone mineral density measurement.


Forty-eight patients (41.0%) had osteoporosis of the lumbar spine. The final diagnosis of osteoporosis after attending the clinic was different from that on referral in a substantial proportion (62.6%) of cases. Only 48.9% of patients with spinal osteoporosis were identified by their referring doctor. The percentage of patients receiving treatment for osteoporosis increased from 34.2% to 72.6% after attending the clinic.


Measurement of bone mineral density identifies cases of osteoporosis who would not otherwise be detected and as a consequence contributes to the proportion of patients receiving treatment after referral. The osteoporosis service provided by the Metabolic Clinic including measurement of bone mineral density was thus found to have a considerable impact on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with osteoporosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center