“Providing calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (US) scanning as a free screening can be an effective strategy for improving osteoporosis detection and treatment,” says Edward Fox, M.D., Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute. In a recent study of adults who received free calcaneal US screening at community health fairs and telephone follow-up, Fox, Frances Tepolt, M.D., and Susan Hassenbein, CCRP, demonstrated that nearly half of those identified as high-risk for osteoporosis (T-score less than or equal to -1) sought evaluation from a health care professional within three months. The large majority of these individuals also received recommendations for further bone density evaluation and treatment (Figure).
Participants, none of which had ever had a fragility fracture, were also given access to informational pamphlets about bone health and osteoporosis. Fox emphasizes, “This study is among the first to examine individuals, access to osteoporosis screening results and disease information, prior to the occurrence of any overt signs of disease, like a fragility fracture. With about half of the high-risk individuals seeking follow-up, this study supports that heel US screening has the potential to increase osteoporosis diagnosis and intervention.” Continue reading