Low-Dose CT Offers Opportunity to Screen for Osteoporosis

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MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2020 — Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) chest scans obtained for other reasons may provide opportunistic screening for osteoporosis, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Xiaoguang Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., from Beijing Jishuitan Hospital, and colleagues explored CT-derived bone mineral density (BMD) and prevalence of osteoporosis for 69,095 adults (40,733 men and 28,362 women) receiving a thoracic LDCT scan for lung cancer screening between 2018 and 2019, as part of the China Biobank Project.

The researchers found that the prevalence of osteoporosis by quantitative CT among Chinese adults older than 50 years of age was 29.0 percent for women and 13.5 percent for men, or approximately 49.0 million and 22.8 million, respectively. Compared with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, in women, the rate was comparable, but in men, the prevalence was double. There was geographic variation in prevalence. In both men and women, trabecular volumetric BMD (vBMD) decreased with age. Compared with men, women had higher peak trabecular vBMD (176.6 versus 185.4 mg/cm3) at ages 30 to 34 years, but older women had lower trabecular vBMD (62.4 versus 92.1 mg/cm3) at age 80 years.

“We show that LDCT-based opportunistic screening could identify large numbers of patients with low lumbar vBMD,” the authors write.

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