, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 491-496

Management of osteoporosis in primary care in Australia

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Abstract

Summary

This study reviewed factors influencing osteoporosis management in primary care settings in Australia and examined risk profiles of patients (n = 37,957) for osteoporosis. Only 29.7% of patients with a prior fracture were currently on specific medication for osteoporosis. The results highlight the need for further exploration of barriers to osteoporosis management.

Introduction

Osteoporosis management in primary care is suboptimal even for high-risk people with a history of prior fracture.

Methods

This study reviewed factors influencing the management of individuals at risk for osteoporosis in primary care settings in Australia and examined risk profiles of patients for osteoporosis. Patients (n = 37,957, mean age 71) were recruited over a 12-month period (February 2006–Jan 2007) and interviewed.

Results

With regard to risk factors for osteoporosis, 12.6% of patients reported a history of prior minimal trauma fracture, 7.5% reported a family history of osteoporosis, 7.4% reported they were current smokers, 11.4% reported low dietary calcium intake, 31.8% reported no regular weekly physical exercise and 10.3% reported current use of glucocorticoids. Of those with a prior fracture, only 29.7% were currently on specific medication for osteoporosis. Radiography (n = 17,754) demonstrated a prior vertebral fracture in 30.1%, but only 3.8% of the 17,754 patients reported current use of specific osteoporosis medication.

Conclusions

This study has confirmed low rates of treatment in primary care even in individuals who have already suffered a prior fracture or have other risk factors. This study highlights the need for further exploration of barriers to osteoporosis management in the primary care setting.