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MRC begins osteoporosis screening trial

20th December 2007

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Arthritis Research Campaign are funding clinical trials of osteoporosis screening.

The groups will give £4.13 million worth of funding to researchers from the University of Southampton and six other collaborating universities.

The seven-year trial, called "Screening of older women for prevention of fracture" (Scoop), will test over 11,000 women from across the UK.

According to the MRC, osteoporosis leads to approximately 200,000 fractures each year across the UK.

During the study, participants will be divided into screening and control groups.

Those in the screening group will have their risk of fractures assessed and if appropriate a course of fracture-risk-reducing drugs will be prescribed.

The control group will receive usual care. Both groups will be tested after five years to assess the number of fractures which occurred.

Claire Severgnini, chief executive of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), said: "This study is likely to have a huge impact for those who have osteoporosis as well as for future generations."

Meanwhile, a team of researchers from Bristol University and Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham are investigating possible improvements to vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

These osteoporosis treatments involve injecting a cement into the base of the spine, reports the BBC.

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