, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 977-982
Date: 23 Nov 2004

Barriers to effective management of osteoporosis in moderate and minimal trauma fractures: a prospective study

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Abstract

Osteoporosis management is suboptimal even for high-risk people with a history of prior fracture. There is also evidence that individuals with moderate trauma fracture have a lower bone density and are at higher risk of subsequent fracture. This study aimed to define factors influencing the management of individuals at risk for osteoporosis and to examine the risk profiles of individuals with minimal and moderate trauma fractures. Consecutive fracture patients ( n =218) treated in the outpatient fracture clinic in St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, over a 15-month period (February 2002–July 2003) were interviewed. Fracture risk factors, prior investigation and treatment for osteoporosis were collected and participants were contacted after 3 months to ascertain follow-up. Risk factors for osteoporosis including family history, low dietary calcium and conditions associated with bone loss were similar between low- and moderate-trauma groups and between sexes. Even though half of participants had had a prior fracture, only 34% had a bone density scan and 16% were on anti-resorptive treatment. There was a minimal (6%) increase in the rates of investigation and treatment at the 3-month follow-up, and less in the moderate trauma group and males. Independent predictors for being investigated for osteoporosis were: age over 50, prior fracture and female gender, while predictors for treatment were: age over 50 and having been investigated. This study has confirmed low rates of investigation and treatment even in individuals who have already suffered a prior fracture, and especially in those <50 and in males. People with moderate and minimal trauma fractures had similar risk factors for osteoporosis, including a similarly high proportion of prior fractures. These findings support the concept that people with moderate trauma fractures are at higher subsequent fracture risk, yet are neither investigated nor treated. This study highlights the need for further exploration of barriers to osteoporosis management.