Objective: The shift in health care delivery from a subspecialty to primary care system has transferred the responsibility of preventing osteoporotic fractures from specialists in metabolic bone disease to the web of physicians-family practitioners, general internists, pediatricians, and gynecologists-who provide the bulk of primary care. The challenge for this group of physicians is to decrease the rising prevalence of osteoporotic hip and vertebral fractures while operating within the cost parameters. It is the goal of this brief summary to provide primary practitioners with focused guidelines for the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis based on new and exciting developments. Prevention and treatment will change rapidly over the next decade and these advances will require changes in these recommendations.
Design: We identified patients at risk for osteoporosis and provided indications for bone mass measurement, criteria for diagnosis of osteoporosis, therapeutic interventions, and biochemical markers of the disease.
Results: Prevention and treatment are discussed, including hormone replacement therapy and use of calcitonin, sodium fluoride, bisphosphonates, and serum estrogen receptor modulators.
Conclusions: Postmenopausal osteoporosis should no longer be an accepted process of aging. It is both preventable and treatable. Primary care physicians must proactively prevent and treat osteoporosis in their daily practice, and combination therapies are suggested. (Menopause 1998;5:123-131. (R) 1998, The North American Menopause Society.)
(C)1998The North American Menopause Society