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Bone Mineral Densitometry

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Linda Johnson White, Director, Department of Scientific Policy, American College of Physicians, 4200 Pine Street; Philadelphia, PA 19104.

*This paper was authored by Steven R. Cummings, M.D., and was developed for the Health and Public Policy Committee by the Clinical Efficacy Assessment Subcommittee: Paul F. Griner, M.D., Chairman; Paul Calabresi, M.D.; Lockhart B. McGuire, M.D.; Charles C. Smith, Jr., M.D.; Harold C. Sox, Jr., M.D.; and Earl P. Steinberg, M.D. Members of the Health and Public Policy Committee for the 1987-88 term are Richard G. Farmer, M.D., Chairman; John M. Eisenberg, M.D.; Paul F. Griner, M.D.; Joseph E. Johnson III, M.D.; Michael A. Nevins, M.D.; Donald L. Feinstein, M.D.; Charles E. Lewis, M.D.; Malcolm L. Peterson, M.D.; C. S. Lewis, Jr., M.D.; Steven A. Schroeder, M.D.; Quentin D. Young, M.D. This paper was adopted by the Board of Regents on 26 June 1987.

© 1987 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1987;107(6):932-936. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-107-6-932
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Osteoporosis, a progressive reduction in the quantity of bone with age, contributes to the increasing incidence of fractures with advancing age (1, 2). Hip fractures are the most important consequence of osteoporosis. About 247 000 hip fractures occurred in the United States during 1985 (3), accounting for most of the estimated $7 billion to $10 billion in health care costs attributed to osteoporosis. (Kelsey JL. Personal communication.) Fractures of the vertebras, distal forearm, proximal humerus, pelvis, and ribs may also be attributable to decreases in bone strength with advancing age (4).

Several methods have been used to measure the quantity


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