Osteoporosis can be detected through low dose computed tomography (LDCT) imaging tests performed for lung cancer screening or other purposes. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that such tests can identify large numbers of adults with low bone mineral density.
The study included 69,095 adults from 14 cities across China who received a chest LDCT scan for the purpose of lung cancer screening in 2018 and 2019. Analyses of these scans revealed that the prevalence of osteoporosis among individuals older than 50 years of age was 29.0% for women and 13.5% for men, equating to 49.0 million and 22.8 million Chinese citizens, respectively. In women, this rate is comparable to estimates from standard bone density scans, but in men, the prevalence was double.
"Our large scale, multi-center study of bone density measured from routine LDCT scans demonstrated the great potential of using LDCT for the opportunistic screening of osteoporosis as an alternative to standard DXA scans," said senior author Wei Tian, MD, of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Peking University School of Medicine. "Our study revealed the unexpectedly high prevalence of osteoporosis in men, which may impact on the management strategy of men in the future."