RESEARCH – June 2009

Motivation for implementing screening for early diagnosis of osteoporosis


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The importance of osteoporosis lies in predisposition to fragility fractures in patients with the disease. These fractures incur morbidity and mortality to the elderly. The need for and the feasibility of a screening programme for osteoporosis in Estonia were evaluated. A study of relevant  issues was carried out within the framework of the World Health Organization criteria for disease screening.
There is undoubtedly a need for a means for identifying individuals who have osteoporosis and are susceptible to fragility fractures. However, more work is needed to  determine whether, in addition to increasing bone mass, they can help reduce the incidence of fractures. Before implementing a large-scale programme (than screening for  those on long term glycocorticoid treament) in Estonia, more research is required to find the most appropriate and cost-effective way forward.