Osteoporosis Tests Unnecessary?

New study finds frequent testing for women unnecessary, suggests alternative.
1:50 | 01/19/12

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Transcript for Osteoporosis Tests Unnecessary?
Groundbreaking new study says millions of American women are getting unnecessary tests for osteoporosis. And that there's another way to make sure American women have healthy bones it changes what women have been told for years. About a test that Medicare pays for in this adjusted every two years. ABC's Claire Shipman has the story. All of us lose bone density as we age but it turns out it happens much more slowly than was thought. The -- report in The New England Journal of Medicine says and 67 year old woman whose bones -- strong. Doesn't need to be tested again for fifteen years to those women doctors will say good for you continue your calcium continue your vitamin. Keep walking. You're in good shape we don't have to do is test any time soon fewer scans certainly a good thing but doctors worry that headlines -- -- danger. They say it's critical that more women get that first test by age 65. Right now only 13%. Of women -- getting that vital baseline tests so should be getting scans and how often. As 67 year old woman with a normal bone scan can wait fifteen years. Women whose bone scans show moderate loss should be tested every five -- and women was severe bone loss should get the test every year. -- -- risk factors which mean you should be tested more often. A family history of osteoporosis. A broken bone after age fifty. Having more than two drinks today we're taking medicines like steroids that can weaken bones. But today's good news get that first bone test and if you get a clean bill of health. You can take osteoporosis off your worry list for fifteen years Claire Shipman ABC news Washington.

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