Skip to Main Content


After reading this chapter, the pharmacy student, community practice resident, or pharmacist should be able to:


  1. Utilize the current osteoporosis clinical guidelines to differentiate normal bone health, osteoporosis, and osteopenia.

  2. Evaluate benefits and barriers of available bone densitometry devices and methods.

  3. Develop osteoporosis screening services within a community pharmacy practice setting including marketing, primary care provider collaboration, and follow-up.

  4. Recommend patient-specific over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication treatment regimens and lifestyle modifications.


Osteoporosis is a silent disease that is characterized by low bone mass, deterioration of bone architecture, and increase risk of fracture. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), osteoporosis is estimated to be a major health threat for Americans with 55% of people 50 years and older at risk.1 Of the 43 million people at risk, 10 million have osteoporosis while the other 33 million suffer from low bone density of the hip, putting them at increased risk of osteoporosis.1


Osteoporosis exerts a large financial burden on the health system. In 2005, it was estimated that osteoporosis-related complications (such as fractures) cost an imposing $17 billion in the United States. With the aging population, this financial burden is expected to double or triple by the year 2040.1 Not only is osteoporosis a costly disease, it is also a debilitating disease. Over 430,000 hospital admissions, 2.5 million physician visits, and 180,000 nursing home admissions each year can be attributed to fractures from osteoporosis.2 Hip fractures are among the most common and debilitating of osteoporosis-related complications.3 It is estimated that 50% of Caucasian women will experience a fracture related to osteoporosis at some point in their lifetime.4 As a result of osteoporosis-related fractures, patients may experience a decreased quality of life because of acute and chronic back pain, disability, limited mobility, and loss of height that can all be deleterious results of a fracture.5Table 13-1 details nonmodifiable and modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis.

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 13-1. Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Currently the NOF, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) recommend bone mineral density (BMD) screening for all women aged 65 and greater regardless of risk factors, all postmenopausal women with a fracture, postmenopausal women younger than 65 years with one or more risk factors (other than fracture or low sex hormones), and any women who are considering therapy for osteoporosis.1,68 The AACE also recommends testing ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessPharmacy Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPharmacy content and resources including 30+ textbooks such as Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach and Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, high-quality videos, images, and animations, interactive board review, drug and herb/supplements databases, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPharmacy

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.