Sunday, May 27, 2012

Managing Osteoporosis: Has Clinical Science Adequately Translated into Daily Treatment?

Women and men are not receiving effective diagnostic testing and treatments of osteoporosis, a life threatening condition affecting millions of Americans, according to an expert today at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 21st Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress in Philadelphia.

Osteoporosis is responsible for approximately 300,000 annual hospital admissions for hip fractures, with estimates exceeding 500,000 by the year 2040, according to the Center for Disease Control[1]. "Although the practice of managing osteoporosis has made significant progress in both diagnosis and treatment tools during the past 20 years, implementing effective treatment strategies into clinical practice is lacking," said Dr. Michael McClung, MD, FACE, and Director of the Oregon Osteoporosis Center in Portland.

Clinical scientists have made substantial advances in recent years in understanding osteoporosis, as well as its impact on certain populations. Accordingly, medical practitioners now have very effective tools to identify men and women with osteoporosis and those who are at risk for fractures, according to Dr. McClung, as well as an array of treatment options to effectively decrease fracture risks.

Further, evidence-based guidelines are available to guide practice management, including the AACE Guidelines on Osteoporosis.
"However, the advances made in our clinical studies are often not put into practice in the clinics of our country," said Dr. McClung. "Many primary care physicians are unaware that national guidelines for the treatment of osteoporosis exist and therefore fail to utilize them as resources. Additionally, patients and many physicians are reluctant to treat osteoporosis with pharmacological agents because they are so concerned about the rare side effects."