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Back To Vidyya American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists:

Serious Questions Raised Regarding Osteoporosis Care

An alarming number of osteoporosis patients are not getting proper follow-up care to confirm the real cause of their disease, according to a recent study conducted by the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts. This means many of these patients may not be getting proper treatment.

The article will appear in the September/October issue of Endocrine Practice, the clinical journal of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and is the first extensive study of follow-up treatment of patients with abnormal bone mineral density.

The study discovered:

  • Almost one-half of the patients with osteoporosis had no follow-up investigation to determine the underlying cause, which is important to determine proper treatment

  • One-in-ten patients received no therapy

  • More than seven-in-ten patients received a combination of calcium and vitamin D, which may be inadequate if an underlying condition exists

  • Most patients were treated with hormone replacement therapy without a search for other possible causes of osteoporosis

  • Once the diagnosis was made, referrals to specialists in metabolic bone diseases were less than 15 percent. This means in many cases the underlying cause of bone loss is not known or being treated.

    Secondary causes of osteoporosis include: Hypogonadism, Anorexia Nervosa, Type 1 Diabetes, pregnancy, Hyperparathyroidism, Acromegaly, chronic liver disease, Alcoholism, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    "This shows why patients with osteoporosis need to be evaluated for secondary causes," stressed Dr. Paul Jellinger, MD, FACE, president of AACE. "If there are underlying causes, osteoporosis treatment needs to go further than calcium and vitamin D therapy."

    For those unfamiliar with the AACE, the American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists is a professional medical organization dedicated to the optimal care of patients with endocrine problems such as osteoporosis, diabetes, thyroid disorders, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. The organization has 3,400 physician members that are specialists with advanced training supported by AACE's state-of-the-art continuing education programs. For more information on AACE, visit their web site, at

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