Today's Medical News From Newspapers, TV, Radio and the Journals.
The Los Angeles Times (9/22, Brink) reports that, "just a few years back, it was heresy to suggest that, when it comes to protecting bones, early treatment may not be the answer." But, "counter to just about every other preventive healthcare message out there, when it comes to osteoporosis drugs, it's probably better to hold off." Research indicates "that most women will lose no more than seven percent of their bone mass within the decade after menopause." Meanwhile, "bisphosphonates have been shown to replace about eight percent of bone within five years, so waiting will cost most women nothing." The "dramatic shift from early prevention to later prevention is an attempt to save healthy women from decades of pill popping to prevent a disease many may well never have." The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says that "the current recommendation is that most healthy women get checked for bone loss with a bone-density test at age 65, not the minute they hit menopause." Meanwhile, individuals "with risk factors...should get a bone-density test around age 60, the 2002 recommendation said."