Assessment of Postmenopausal Women and Significant Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

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The assessment of osteoporosis risk factors can help guide early intervention. The objective of this study was to analyze numerous potential risk factors to see which were associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Women aged 49 or greater presenting for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry bone scans were recruited from radiology sites in the Hartford, Connecticut, area between January 2007 and March 2009, inclusive. Information was collected regarding primary and secondary risk factors for osteoporosis development, as well as family history and history of pregnancy and breast-feeding. Survey results were subsequently correlated with each woman's dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan results. In a sample of 619 women, history of fracture (odds ratio [OR], 12.49), weight less than 127 pounds (OR, 3.50), and use of anticoagulants (OR, 5.40) increased the chance of developing osteoporosis. In contrast, multiparity (OR, 0.45) and history of breast-feeding (OR, 0.38) decreased the development of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. In women aged 49 to 54, breast-feeding was significantly protective, while low body mass index was most indicative of osteoporosis in women ages 55 to 64. Both previous fracture and low body mass index were associated with osteoporosis in women over age 64. The current results are consistent with other studies suggesting that previous fracture, low body weight, and use of anticoagulants increase the risk of osteoporosis. Our results also suggest that a history of pregnancy and breast-feeding protects against the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis, especially in women aged 49 to 54.Target Audience:Obstetricians & Gynecologists.Learning Objectives:After completing this CME activity, readers should be better able to evaluate the impact of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women; assess the risk factors associated with postmenopausal osteoporotic fractures; counsel women on what steps they can take to lower their risk of developing the condition in the future; and demonstrate that the risk factors associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis change based on age.

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