Racial disparities in osteoporosis prevention in a managed care population

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



African Americans; Aged; Bone Density; Delivery of Health Care; Drug Prescriptions; European Continental Ancestry Group; Female; Health Care Surveys; Humans; Managed Care Programs; Middle Aged; Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal; Socioeconomic Factors


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis in black women may result in increased disability, longer hospital stays, and higher mortality compared with white women. However, it is unknown whether osteoporosis treatment or bone mineral density (BMD) measurement is different in these women, particularly in those at highest risk.

METHODS: To examine differences and determinants of osteoporosis preventive interventions among white and black women in a large regional health maintenance organization, women 50 years of age and older were surveyed (n = 8,909) to determine their receipt of BMD testing and medical therapies for osteoporosis prevention.

RESULTS: After adjusting for potential confounders, black women had two- to threefold lower odds of BMD test or osteoporosis prescription treatment. Even among women with a previous fracture, blacks still had a significantly lower likelihood of both BMD testing and prescription therapy.

CONCLUSION: Compared with whites, black women reported significantly less BMD testing and prescription and nonprescription osteoporosis therapy. This disparity was not fully explained by other demographic or risk factor differences.


South Med J. 2003 May;96(5):445-51.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Southern medical journal

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed