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Osteoporosis and the Primary Care Physician: Time To Bone Up

Michael Kleerekoper, MD
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Wayne State University Detroit, MI 48201 Current Author Address: Michael Kleerekoper, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Harper Hospital, Wayne State University, 3990 John R., 1 Webber South, Detroit, MI 48201.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1995;123(6):466-467. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-123-6-199509150-00012
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The magnitude of the community health problem posed by osteoporosis has been amply documented in the medical literature and the lay press. If one believes the numbers—and there is scant reason not to-it is clear that responsibility for the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of osteoporosis must quickly shift from the specialist to the primary care physician. More than 8 million persons in the United States are currently affected by osteoporotic fractures [1], and an otherwise healthy 50-year-old white woman has a 50% cumulative lifetime risk for sustaining at least one such fracture [2]. As with all diseases that are so prevalent, greater emphasis must be placed on prevention than on intervention after the fact. The challenge has been to provide the primary care physician with appropriate diagnostic tools and meaningful preventive and therapeutic options.

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