Osteoporosis International

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 929–936

The post-fracture care gap among Canadian First Nations peoples: a retrospective cohort study

  • W. D. Leslie
  • S. L. Brennan
  • H. J. Prior
  • L. M. Lix
  • C. Metge
  • B. Elias
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-011-1880-y

Cite this article as:
Leslie, W.D., Brennan, S.L., Prior, H.J. et al. Osteoporos Int (2012) 23: 929. doi:10.1007/s00198-011-1880-y



Despite targeted attempts to reduce post-fracture care gaps, we hypothesized that a larger care gap would be experienced by First Nations compared to non-First Nations people. First Nations peoples were eight times less likely to receive post-fracture care compared to non-First Nations peoples, representing a clinically significant ethnic difference in post-fracture care.


First Nations peoples are the largest group of aboriginal (indigenous or native) peoples in Canada. Canadian First Nations peoples have a greater risk of fracture compared to non-First Nations peoples. We hypothesized that ethnicity might be associated with a larger gap in post-fracture care.


Non-traumatic major osteoporotic fractures for First Nations and non-First Nations peoples aged ≥50 years were identified from a population-based data repository for Manitoba, Canada between April 1996 and March 2002. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the probability of receiving a BMD test, a diagnosis of osteoporosis, or beginning an osteoporosis-related drug in the 6 months post-fracture.


A total of 11,234 major osteoporotic fractures were identified; 502 occurred in First Nations peoples. After adjustment for confounding covariates, First Nations peoples were less likely to receive a BMD test [odds ratio (OR) 0.1, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.0–0.5], osteoporosis-related drug treatment (OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3–0.7), or a diagnosis of osteoporosis (OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3–0.7) following a fracture compared to non-First Nations peoples. Females were more likely to have a BMD test (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 2.6–9.3), to be diagnosed with osteoporosis (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.5–2.0), and to begin drug treatment (OR, 4.1; 95% CI, 2.7–6.4) compared to males.


An ethnicity difference in post-fracture care was observed. Further work is needed to elucidate underlying mechanisms for this difference and to determine whether failure to initiate treatment originates with the medical practitioner, the patient, or a combination of both. It is imperative that all residents of Manitoba receive efficacious and equal care post-fracture, regardless of ethnicity.


Care gap Ethnicity Fracture Osteoporosis 

Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. D. Leslie
    • 1
  • S. L. Brennan
    • 2
    • 3
  • H. J. Prior
    • 4
  • L. M. Lix
    • 5
  • C. Metge
    • 4
  • B. Elias
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Medicine (C5121)University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, NorthWest Academic CentreUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Barwon Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Barwon HealthDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  4. 4.Manitoba Centre for Health PolicyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  5. 5.School of Public HealthUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  6. 6.Centre for Aboriginal Health ResearchUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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