Update on Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women

The accredited CME learning activity based on this article is offered under the auspices of the CE department of the University of Toronto. Participating physicians are entitled to one (1) MAINPRO-M1 credit by completing this program, found online at

Lianne Tile MD, FRCPC, M Ed, Staff Physician, Osteoporosis
Program and Division of General Internal Medicine, University Health Network, Toronto, ON

Osteoporosis and fractures are a common cause of morbidity in postmenopausal women. Women age 65 and older, and those with risk factors for bone loss, should be screened by DEXA. When osteoporosis is diagnosed, secondary causes need to be considered. Fracture risk is determined by bone mineral density, age, prior fracture, and family history of osteoporosis. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake and regular exercise are essential for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Pharmacologic therapy should be used based on fracture risk. Patient preferences and side effect profile must be considered in choosing among several effective treatment options.
Key words: osteoporosis, treatment, postmenopausal, diagnosis, guidelines

Definition and Epidemiology
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone strength predisposing to an increased risk of fracture.