African American women; Bone densitometry; Fractures; Osteoporosis in women


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Diagnosis | Musculoskeletal System | Public Health


Many older bone densitometer (DXA) machines are programmed to calculate T-scores for African- American patients using peak African-American bone mass as reference standard.

This presents a problem because most data regarding fracture risk has been derived using Caucasian data (Binkley 2002). If the T-score for an African-American woman is calculated using a race-adjusted reference, the same absolute bone density will yield a lower T-score for an African- American than for a Caucasian woman. For this reason, the International Society for Clinical Densitometry has recommended that T-scores for all women, regardless of ethnicity, be calculated from Caucasian reference standards (ISCD 2007).