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Paper of the Day - DEXA advice leads to unnecessary treatment

NICE advice to give every woman over 75 a bisphosphonate after a fracture – without a DEXA scan – means many women are being unnecessarily treated, suggests an audit from one hospital.

Researchers at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary looked at DEXA scans of 577 women over 75 years who had suffered a fracture and found 50% were outside the range for osteoporosis and 11% were not even osteopenic.

The authors say the guidance on secondary prevention of osteoporosis - published in 2005 -is designed to ration the use of DEXA scanning. But the money wasted through inappropriate prescribing could be better used, they add.

Rheumatology published online 5 December

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