The potential impact of the National Osteoporosis Foundation guidance on treatment eligibility in the USA: An update in NHANES 2005-2008

B. Dawson-Hughes, A. C. Looker, A. N.A. Tosteson, H. Johansson, J. A. Kanis, L. J. Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


This analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2008 data describes the prevalence of risk factors for osteoporosis and the proportions of men and postmenopausal women age 50 years and older who are candidates for treatment to lower fracture risk, according to the new Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX)-based National Osteoporosis Foundation Clinician's Guide. Introduction: It is important to update estimates of the proportions of the older US population considered eligible for pharmacologic treatment for osteoporosis for purposes of understanding the health care burden of this disease. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of the NHANES 2005-2008 data in 3,608 men and women aged 50 years and older. Variables in the analysis included race/ethnicity, age, lumbar spine and femoral neck bone mineral density, risk factor profiles, and FRAX 10-year fracture probabilities. Results: The prevalence of osteoporosis of the femoral neck ranged from 6.0% in non-Hispanic black to 12.6% in Mexican American women. Spinal osteoporosis was more prevalent among Mexican American women (24.4%) than among either non-Hispanic blacks (5.3%) or non-Hispanic whites (10.9%). Treatment eligibility was similar in Mexican American and non-Hispanic white women (32.0% and 32.8%) and higher than it was in non-Hispanic black women (11.0%). Treatment eligibility among men was 21.1% in non-Hispanic whites, 12.6% in Mexican Americans, and 3.0% in non-Hispanic blacks. Conclusions: Nineteen percent of older men and 30% of older women in the USA are at sufficient risk for fracture to warrant consideration for pharmacotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-820
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Bone mineral density
  • Dawson-Hughes, B.
  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • National Osteoporosis Foundation Clinician's Guide
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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