Friday, July 22, 2016

71 percent of hip fracture patients not told they have osteoporosis

Public Release: 19-May-2016
Survey: 71 percent of hip fracture patients not told they have osteoporosis
1 in 4 would reject class of bone-building medications even if prescribed
Northwell Health

More than 7 in 10 older adults who suffer hip fractures aren't told they have the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis - despite the fact that hip fractures nearly always signify the presence of this potentially debilitating condition, according to revealing new research by Northwell Health physicians.

Geriatric fellow Mia Barnett, MD, led a telephone survey of 42 hip fracture patients ages 65 and older that showed a startling level of misinformation and mismanagement surrounding osteoporosis among both clinicians and patients. A majority (57%) of patients reported their hospital physicians had not suggested osteoporosis medication after their hip fracture, and 25% said they would reject taking such prescribed drugs.


"You can die after a hip fracture, and you're at great risk of prolonged complications," said Dr. Wolf-Klein. "You can also be left as an invalid, a fear of many older adults. When we think about how preventable hip fractures are, the fact that most patients aren't told or understand they have osteoporosis - a disease that can be treated - is an enormous problem."

Meaning "porous bone," osteoporosis affects more than 10 million people in the United States, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. But while a quarter-million Americans sustain a hip fracture each year, the estimated treatment rate for osteoporosis after a hip fracture - a fracture nearly always indicating osteoporosis in older adults - ranges from only 2% to 25%.


Only 12 %of patients reported having a family history of osteoporosis, which will cause about 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over age 50 to break a bone. But "self-reported family history from these patients is notoriously unreliable, and when it is there, they still can get it wrong," Dr. Weinerman explained. "We do know that if a mother had a hip fracture, that doubles her daughter's risk of future hip fracture."

Additional results indicated that 57 %of patients reported their hospital physicians had not suggested taking prescription osteoporosis medication after hip fracture, and 36% hadn't received a prescription for such medication. For most of the 64% who had been taking so-called osteoporosis "treatment," this consisted of calcium and vitamin D - a combination the Northwell study authors deemed "useless" at preventing osteoporotic fractures.

On the other hand, effective prescription osteoporosis drugs - which maintain bone density and lower the risk of a fracture - are available in many forms to accommodate patients' needs and wishes, including twice-yearly infusions or weekly pills, they said.

After hip fracture, 38% of study participants sustained a fall within a year, and 44% of these patients suffered an additional fracture.


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