, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 430-434

A study of bone mineral density in women with forearm fracture in Northern Ireland

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Abstract

A group of Northern Ireland women aged 40–75 years of age with low-trauma forearm fracture were studied to determine the incidence of such fractures and the prevalence of osteoporosis in this fracture population. A total of 1,147 subjects were identified in 1997 and 1998 throughout Northern Ireland following low-trauma forearm fractures, as well as 699 residents in the Eastern Health and Social Services Board (EHSSB), enabling calculation of the annual incidence rate of new low-trauma forearm fractures at 2.69/1,000 population aged 40–75. A total of 375 participants consented to have bone mineral density (BMD) measurements undertaken at the femoral neck, spine, and forearm using a Lunar Expert bone densitometer. Osteoporosis at the femur was present in 14% of women, at the spine in 29%, and at the forearm in 32%. A total of 45% were osteoporotic at one or more measured sites, but only 18% were on treatment for osteoporosis. Additional significant risk factors identified included an early menopause in 24.5% and current or previous corticosteroid use in 13%. Only 1.6% received information on treatment of osteoporosis at the time of fracture. Increased awareness is needed in both primary and secondary care including fracture services to improve treatment of women with low-trauma fracture.