OSTEOPOROSIS: Tests Halted at New York Health Fair
A bone-density scanner used to detect osteoporosis was removed from a New York State Capitol health fair Monday, after minorities protested that the scanner was only accurate for white women, the AP/Nando Times reports. The machine from Bellevue Woman's Hospital was calibrated with the genetic data of white women, prompting hospital representatives to hang up "White women only" signs on its booth at the fair. "I don't understand why you would bring a machine for white women only to a public place where there are multiple races ... It's like we're back in the '40s and '50s," Rita Matthews, a black state worker, said. According to Ruth Fidler, who was conducting the tests, she could not confirm the accuracy of the test on non-white women. After state Assemblyman Keith Wright, chair of the Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Legislative Caucus, told her the scanner "shouldn't be used on public property," Fidler packed up the machine and abandoned the fair. Bellevue promised to replace the machine with one that was accurate on all women. Researchers had believed that minority women were at far less risk for osteopetrosis since they appeared to have higher peak bone mass. But a recent study found that one-third of black women trial participants were at risk for the disease (Jordan, 5/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.