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Measuring Women's Risk of Osteoporosis

For women of mixed racial or ethnic backgrounds, a new method for measuring bone health may improve the odds of correctly diagnosing their risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, according to a UCLA-led study

 

Currently, assessing osteoporosis and the risk of fractures from small accidents like falls requires a bone density scan. But because these scans don't provide other relevant fracture-related information, such as bone size and the amount of force a bone is subjected to during a fall, each patient's bone density is examined against a national database of people with the same age and race or ethnicity.

This approach, however, doesn't work for people of mixed race or ethnicity because comparison databases can't account for mixed heritage. A similar problem exists for those from smaller racial or ethnic groups for which there are not comparison databases.

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