The incidence of distal radial fractures in elderly women is high and is associated with osteoporosis and hip fracture. Osteoporosis can be detected by measuring the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine or hip with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Low BMD of the lumbar spine or hip is a strong predictor for future vertebral deformities and hip fractures. At present, elderly women with a distal radial fracture are not investigated for osteoporosis on a routine basis. The BMD of the lumbar spine and hip were assessed in 94 women (mean age, 69 years) with a distal radial fracture. A low BMD was found in 85% of the patients, and osteoporosis was diagnosed in 51%. The mean BMD decreased by 0.04 SD per year and there was a significant relationship between post-menopausal status and decreased BMD of the hip. The BMD in patients treated with bisphosphonate medication increased significantly in 1 year. As more than half of the elderly women with a distal radial fracture have osteoporotic BMD values for the lumbar spine or hip, it is our opinion that such patients should be screened for osteoporosis.