Clinical investigations from the RACP

Managing the patient with osteoporosis

Devina Joshi, Jacqueline Center, John Eisman

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Abstract

Osteoporosis is a common and treatable condition but remains largely under-recognised and untreated despite its associated significant morbidity and premature mortality. GPs are well placed to take the leading role in investigating and treating patients with this chronic disease.

Key Points

  • Osteoporosis is a common condition and osteoporotic fractures lead to significant morbidity and premature mortality.
  • There are excellent diagnostic tools and many treatment options available for patients diagnosed with osteoporosis.
  • Most (70 to 95%) patients with minimal trauma fractures who are treated at Australian hospitals are neither investigated nor treated for osteoporosis. Lack of awareness among both treating clinicians and patients is likely to be a major contributing factor.
  • GPs can play an important role in the recognition of the condition and its subsequent management, in consultation with an endocrinologist or rheumatologist if required.

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