, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 205-210
Date: 12 Jul 2002

Evaluation of Osteoporosis Treatment in Seniors after Hip Fracture

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Abstract

A retrospective chart review was carried out on all consecutive patients over 65 years of age admitted to a tertiary care teaching hospital with a diagnosis of a new hip fracture. A further chart review occurred after discharge from post-surgery rehabilitation. The primary objective was to evaluate the prevalence of osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment in both phases of the study. Secondary objectives included evaluation of the mortality rates, length of stay, prevalence of osteoporosis investigation, and prevalence of osteoporosis diagnosis based on the clinical subspecialty involved. There were 311 patients evaluated in the initial phase, and 226 after rehabilitation. The mortality rate was 5.8% (10% for men, 4% for women; p<0.005) in the acute care hospital and 9.3% (8% men, 10% women) during rehabilitation. Previous hip fracture occurred in 17.4%, and 1.5% were readmitted during the study period with fracture of the opposite hip. Osteoporosis was diagnosed in the acute care hospital on admission in 11.9% and on discharge in 15.4%. In the rehabilitation hospital it was diagnosed in 9.7% on admission and 11.2% on discharge (p = NS). Osteoporosis treatment (including calcium or vitamin D therapy) was instituted in 13% on admission to acute care and in 9.7% at the time of discharge. For the rehabilitation hospital, treatment occurred in 12.8% on admission and 10.2% on discharge. The diagnosis of osteoporosis significantly increased the prevalence of treatment (p<0.001). Use of specific agents (hormone replacement therapy, bisphosphonates or calcitonin) occurred in <6% of all patients. Osteoporosis is under-diagnosed and under-treated in this group of elderly hip fracture patients. It is associated with significant mortality and morbidity and every effort should be made to prevent future fractures. Physicians in the “front line” of hip fracture treatment are missing this key aspect of management in their patients. Education of these physicians, as well as the public, may be the key to addressing this care gap.

Received: 12 March 2001 / Accepted: 23 July 2001