A PRIME EXAMPLE OF

DISEASE MONGERING

You would think that a fracture is a fracture, right? But no, vertebral fracture is a different animal in the fracture litter.

Current definitions of vertebral fracture are so vague that depending on the criteria used, either 3% or 90% of the same group of people get the disease label. Disease label would obviously be justified and helpful if we had an effective treatment for the disease. However, the proof that drugs prevent vertebral fractures is weak, at best. Nevertheless, our experts still use these “changes in x-rays” as a reason for putting patients on a pill.

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A PRIME EXAMPLE OF DISEASE MONGERING

MEDICAL PUBLICATIONS

Overdiagnosis of bone fragility in the quest to prevent hip fracture

Despite widespread endorsement, Teppo Järvinen and colleagues argue that evidence for stratifying risk of fracture and subsequent drug therapy to prevent hip fracture is insufficient to warrant our current approach...

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Labelling people as ‘High Risk’: A tyranny of eminence?

Nowadays, being at ‘high risk’ of having a disease has become a disease in and of itself. Sweeping educational programmes at all levels of healthcare now turn an otherwise healthy person's ‘high’ blood pressure, elevated serum lipids or low bone density into chronic conditions having increased risk of a potentially bad event. But what represents ‘high risk’? This question lies at the heart of modern medicine...

Bad medicine: osteoporosis

“One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 in the UK will fracture a bone, mainly as a result of osteoporosis,” says the National Osteoporosis Society. But osteoporosis is an abstract numerical concept. As judged against a young white person at maximum bone density, it is defined as the 1% of people with the lowest bone mineral density shown on dual energy x ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning, while the lowest 16% are defined as having osteopenia (erroneously called preosteoporosis). By this definition …

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Drugs for pre-osteoporosis:

prevention or disease mongering?

After looking at data used to support treatment of women with slightly lowered bone mineral density, Pablo Alonso-Coello and colleagues argue that proponents have overstated the benefits and underplayed the harms...

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A PRIME EXAMPLE OF

DISEASE MONGERING

MEDICAL PUBLICATIONS

Drugs for pre-osteoporosis:

prevention or disease mongering?

After looking at data used to support treatment of women with slightly lowered bone mineral density, Pablo Alonso-Coello and colleagues argue that proponents have overstated the benefits and underplayed the harms...

Read More