Indexed on: 10 Apr '10Published on: 10 Apr '10Published in: Journal of women's health (2002)
Osteoporosis is a major public health problem. Guidelines recommend osteoporosis screening, primarily with bone mineral density (BMD) testing, of all women aged > or =65 and younger women at increased risk. However, BMD testing is underused, and osteoporosis screening practices are not in compliance with guidelines.This was a retrospective cohort study of 809 women patients > or =65 years. The proportion of patients having evidence of BMD testing and factors associated with BMD testing were evaluated.The overall proportion of patients having evidence of BMD testing was 42.9%. A higher proportion of patients from the gynecology practice (72%) had evidence of BMD testing compared with family medicine (42%), general internal medicine (36%), and the Veterans Administration practice (30%) (p < 0.0001). The proportion of patients with evidence of BMD testing was higher in patients seen by faculty (48%) than in patients seen by midlevel providers (35%) or residents (21%) (p < 0.0001) and was higher in patients of female providers (54%) than in patients of male providers (31%) (p < 0.0001). Negative associations with BMD testing were seen with increasing age and numbers of medications (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.05, respectively). The numbers of visits and numbers of total and unique ICD-9 codes were each negatively associated with BMD testing (p < 0.05, p < 0.005, and p < 0.05, respectively). In patients with commercial insurance, 48% had evidence of BMD testing vs. 25% in the rest of the subjects (p < 0.0001). The proportion of patients with evidence of BMD testing also varied by body mass index (BMI).Consideration of factors associated with BMD testing may be useful in developing interventions to increase osteoporosis screening rates.