, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 653-661
Date: 11 Sep 2012

Treatment with Fall-Risk-Increasing and Fracture-Preventing Drugs Before and After a Hip Fracture

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Background Hip fracture is a common diagnosis in the older population, with often serious consequences. Drug treatment may be of significance for both falls and fractures.

Objective To investigate drug treatment in older hip fracture patients, focusing on use of fall-risk-increasing and fracture-preventing drugs before and after the fracture.

Methods This was an observational study conducted in Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. The participants were 100 consecutive hip fracture patients aged ≤65 years with a median age of 86 (range 66–97) years. Seventy-three patients were female, and 87 patients had at least one strong risk factor for a fracture. Four patients died during the hospital stay, and a further 18 died within 6 months after discharge. Treatment with fall-risk-increasing and fracture-preventing drugs at admission to hospital, at discharge and 6 months after the hip fracture was measured.

Results The numbers of patients treated with fall-risk-increasing drugs were 93 (93%), 96 (100%) and 73 (94%) at admission, discharge and 6-month follow-up, respectively. The median (range) number of such drugs was 3 (0–9), 4(1–10) and 3 (0–10), respectively. A total of 17 (17%), 32 (33%) and 29 (37%) patients were treated with fracture-preventing drugs, predominantly calcium plus vitamin D, at admission, discharge and 6-month follow-up, respectively. Five patients (5%) used bisphosphonates or selective estrogen receptor modulators at admission. No additional patients had these drugs prescribed during the hospital stay. At 6-month follow-up, four more patients were treated with bisphosphonates.

Conclusions Treatment with fall-risk-increasing drugs was extensive among older hip fracture patients both before and after the fracture. The proportion of patients with fracture-preventing drugs was low at admission and increased slightly during the follow-up period. Hence, drug treatment in older hip fracture patients can be improved regarding both fall-risk-increasing drugs and fracture-preventing drugs.