From individual and societal perspectives, the consequences of osteoporotic fractures are devastating, being associated with tremendous costs as well as increased mortality and morbidity1,2. The projected rise in the prevalence of osteoporosis with the ageing of the population will likely increase the current burden.
How is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
Osteoporosis is most commonly diagnosed by a bone density test also known as DXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) which measures bone mineral density. Other imaging techniques such as high-resolution peripheral computed tomography can assess other bone strength components such as trabecular and cortical bone microarchitecture and could enhance the detection of people at high risk of fracture3.
The bone density unit (through Western Health and The University of Melbourne) offers both DXA, and pQCT (Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography) to both clinical and research patients.
Your doctor may recommend dietary changes or supplements to improve your calcium and vitamin D intake which are linked directly to bone strength. Other lifestyle changes may include exercise, especially weight bearing exercise which has been shown to impact bone density.
Osteoporosis medications may also be prescribed. These work by altering the normal process of bone breakdown and formation. There are several types of medication.
Further information about managing osteoporosis can be found on the Osteoporosis Australia website.
- Ioannidis G, et al. CMAJ. 2009 Sep 1;181(5):265-71. Epub 2009 Aug 4.
- Keen RW. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2003 Sep;1(2):66-70.
- Engelke K et al. J Clin Densitom. 2008 Jan-Mar;11(1):123-62.