Poster Title

Relationship Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Patients with Osteoporosis diagnosed by a DEXA scan

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

23

KY Senate District #

9

Abstract

Unlike other diseases, osteoporosis is considered a “silent disease” because it gradually develops over several years with no symptoms. Those with osteoporosis are usually unaware of it until they break a bone or have a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) performed which measures the bone mineral density. By exploring the relationship between Vitamin D deficiency, which is characterized by 30 ng/mL or lower, and patients with osteoporosis diagnosed with a DEXA, we could develop a preventative measure for a disease that affects approximately 200,000 Kentuckians every year. We are attempting to link the severity of osteoporosis with the level of Vitamin D deficiency. We are partnering with a local orthopedic surgeon to obtain data on patients previously diagnosed with osteoporosis by a DEXA scan. We have no access to names; therefore, HIPAA will not be violated. If we establish that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to an increased risk or severity of osteoporosis, doctors could begin testing Vitamin D levels when patients prone to osteoporosis are 40-50 years old, and potentially decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis which could lead to unexpected, life-threatening fractures, rather than waiting until the patient has fractured a bone to begin treatment.

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Relationship Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Patients with Osteoporosis diagnosed by a DEXA scan

Unlike other diseases, osteoporosis is considered a “silent disease” because it gradually develops over several years with no symptoms. Those with osteoporosis are usually unaware of it until they break a bone or have a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) performed which measures the bone mineral density. By exploring the relationship between Vitamin D deficiency, which is characterized by 30 ng/mL or lower, and patients with osteoporosis diagnosed with a DEXA, we could develop a preventative measure for a disease that affects approximately 200,000 Kentuckians every year. We are attempting to link the severity of osteoporosis with the level of Vitamin D deficiency. We are partnering with a local orthopedic surgeon to obtain data on patients previously diagnosed with osteoporosis by a DEXA scan. We have no access to names; therefore, HIPAA will not be violated. If we establish that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to an increased risk or severity of osteoporosis, doctors could begin testing Vitamin D levels when patients prone to osteoporosis are 40-50 years old, and potentially decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis which could lead to unexpected, life-threatening fractures, rather than waiting until the patient has fractured a bone to begin treatment.