The story includes some independent experts’ viewpoints and presented some of the study’s limitations that were ignored in the Los Angeles Times story. Like the Times story, though, this one could have spent more time explaining the data behind the findings.
Osteoporosis is a serious and debilitating condition that hits women especially hard in old age. Screening every two years has been a common clinical recommendation, and this study challenges that. For patients to know how to factor this information into their health planning, they need a complete picture of the science involved in these conclusions. This story does a better job than the LA Times story in presenting that picture – but only barely.
This story makes no mention of costs.
There are no numbers in this story attached to the benefits of less frequent bone density testing.
This story did not quantify any harms associated with bone density testing, with osteoperosis or with waiting too long to have ones bones tested.
The story could have done more to evaluate the quality of evidence, but we will give it the benefit of the doubt.
No disease mongering in this story.
The entire story is about different intervals for bone density screening.
The story talks about "women’s T-score, which is a measure of bone density", but it never explains how a bone density test is conducted or who might conduct it. Does a woman have to go to a specialist? What kind of equipment is involved? It doesn’t take much to address these questions.
The novelty here is not bone density screening, but less frequent use of this widely used test. Sadly, research that looks at screening intervals is a novelty. But neither story establishes that novelty. The study appears to be quite significant given the size of the cohort and the time period of the study.
One quote – the story admits – comes from a news release. But there is evidence of independent reporting elsewhere.