Bone mineral density scans in veterans

Elizabeth Bass, Etienne Pracht, Philip Foulis, Elizabeth Bass
2007 Clinical Interventions in Aging   unpublished
Goals: Recent fi ndings suggest the prevalence of osteoporosis among men is under-recognized. The patient population of the Veterans Health Administration (VA) is predominantly male and many elderly veterans may be at risk of osteoporosis. Given the lack of data on male osteoporosis, we provide initial insight into diagnostic procedures for patients at one VA medical center. Procedures: A review and descriptive analysis of patients undergoing radiological evaluation for osteoporosis at one VA
more » ... dical center. Results: We identifi ed 4,919 patients who had bone mineral density scans from 2001-2004. VA patients receiving bone mineral density scans were commonly white, male, over age 70 and taking medications with potential bone-loss side effects. Conclusions: While further research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that the VA screens the most vulnerable age groups in both genders. Heightened awareness among primary care providers of elderly male patients at risk of osteoporosis can lead to early intervention and improved management of this age-related condition.