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Bone Density Testing Low in Veterans With Kidney Stone Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 -- Almost one-quarter of patients with kidney stone disease have a prevalent diagnosis of osteoporosis or fracture, and screening after diagnosis identifies additional patients with osteoporosis, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Calyani Ganesan, M.D., of Stanford University in California, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the prevalence of osteoporosis and fractures and rate of bone mineral density screening by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) using data from the Veterans Health Administration. A total of 531,431 patients were identified with kidney stone disease between 2007 and 2015.

The researchers found that 23.6 percent of patients with kidney stone disease had a prevalent diagnosis of osteoporosis or fracture. Of those with no previous history of osteoporosis or bone mineral density assessment before diagnosis, 9.1 percent of patients were screened with DXA after a diagnosis of kidney stone; 20 percent of these patients were then diagnosed with osteoporosis.

"We hope this work raises awareness regarding the possibility of reduced bone strength in patients with kidney stones," Ganesan said in a statement. "In our future work, we hope to identify which patients with kidney stones are at higher risk for osteoporosis or fracture to help guide bone density screening efforts by clinicians in this population."

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