- Thousands of women could benefit from new hip screening programme
- It could stop 8,000 pensioners suffering devastating bone breaks per year
- Study led by the University of East Anglia and the University of Sheffield
Thousands of elderly women could be spared from painful hip fractures if Britain introduced a national osteoporosis screening programme, research suggests.
More than a quarter of hip fractures were prevented in a five-year trial of GP screening.
If rolled out nationally, it could save 8,000 women from suffering devastating bone breaks every year.
In the study, led by the University of East Anglia and the University of Sheffield, researchers questioned women in their 70s and 80s about lifestyle and medical history to determine whether they were at risk.
Thousands of elderly women could be spared from painful hip fractures if a national osteoporosis screening programme is introduced in Britain
Those at the highest risk were then invited to have their bone density scanned. If they were found to have weak, brittle bones, they were offered osteoporosis drugs. The results, published in the Lancet medical journal, showed that over five years those women who were screened suffered 28 per cent fewer hip fractures.
Lead researcher Professor Lee Shepstone said: ‘This is the first trial to show that a community-screening approach … is both feasible and effective.’