Reducing Disparities in Osteoporosis Care Through Better Research and Treatment

Elaine Yu, MD, MSc
Elaine Yu, MD, MSc
Chen Institute MGH Research Scholar 2023-2028
Physician Investigator, Endocrine Division, Department of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Osteoporosis and fragility fractures lead to chronic pain, loss of independence and increased risk of death in older adults.

Unfortunately, there are large disparities in the diagnosis, treatment and consequences of osteoporosis among different racial/ethnic groups within the United States.

Further compounding these inequities is a notable lack of epidemiologic and clinical trial data among communities of color.

It is important to ascertain health outcomes among diverse populations as the first step to defining clinically important socioeconomic, cultural, environmental and/or biologic factors that influence individual differences in fracture risk and treatment.

My research vision is to leverage existing large datasets to bridge critical gaps in our knowledge of skeletal health among diverse populations that will address the most pressing

controversies in the bone field:

  • Understanding the implications of race/ethnicity adjustments in fracture risk calculators
  • Investigating disparities in osteoporosis management by race/ethnicity
  • Detailing how race/ethnicity impacts the complex relationship between bone density and fracture
  • Studying the efficacy of pharmacologic osteoporosis treatments among diverse populations

Ultimately, better understanding of these important issues will provide better clinical guidance for osteoporosis treatment that are validated and applicable to all populations.