Osteoporosis continues undiagnosed in many women, but it is especially ignored in the assessment and treatment of ethnic minorities in the US.
According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons, “minorities were less often recommended for screening, less often tested, and less often given prescription drugs” for osteoporosis compared to postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women of similar age.
The reasons cited for the under diagnosis of minority women include:
•Underestimation of their risk for osteoporosis
•Lack of trust in Western medicine
•Lack of information about osteoporosis
•Fewer recommendations from physicians for osteoporosis screening
This report was based on a subgroup of the 200,000 women participating in the National Osteoporosis Risk Assessment (NORA) survey—the largest osteoporosis study to date to include racial and ethnic minority women.
The authors conclude that “every woman, regardless of race, ethnicity, or presumed risk, should be aware of osteoporosis and the importance of prevention. All women should have equal access to information, diagnosis and treatment.”
Thomas, P., 2007. “Racial and Ethnic Differences in Osteoporosis,” J Am Acad Ortho Surg. http://www.jaaos.org/cgi/content/full/15/suppl_1/S26
WebMD link: Race and Sex
General statistics for disease prevalence by racial groups (2004):