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Follow-up Treatment for Osteoporosis Related Fractures in Postmenopausal Women

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Review on January 05, 2010

Osteoporosis is a common post menopause condition which affects many women. However osteoporosis is not always identified by doctors, even when women begin to experience fractures as a result. Low trauma fractures can be caused by falls from standing height and until now it has been unclear as to how often correct osteoporosis diagnosis occurs in postmenopausal women after such accidents. New research aims to address this and looks to find out the frequency at which early osteoporosis diagnosis as a result of minor fractures occurs.

The study was carried out at a single medical center in Edmonton, Alberta in the USA and researchers interviewed 112 female patients, all of whom were over the age of 40. The interviews were undertaken for those patients at the clinic who had suffered from atraumatic fractures of the distal radius or ulna from April 1997 to March 1998 and from January 1999 to February 1999. The history of hormone replacement therapy use and osteoporosis treatment was recorded during all the interviews.

The time between the fracture and the interview taking place ranged between patients, for some it was six months while for others three years. However on average it was 1 year between fracture and interview for many of the women. Although none of them had undertaken osteoporosis treatment in the past, 44 out of the 112 women had suffered from previous fractures and 17 of them had occurred in the wrist, vertebrae or hips. Another 32 of the patients had been given some osteoporosis treatment previously, while a further 24 women undertook post-fracture osteoporosis follow-up without it resulting in treatment. After the fracture in question, 42 of the 112 women were recorded as taking either hormone replacement therapy or bisphosphonate.

osteoporosis female

The results of the interviews showed that only 50% of the women in the survey had been given some form of osteoporosis follow up. Even though this percentage did have some form of follow-up treatment, the interviews indicated that most of the patients had no change to their medication as a result and that included hormone replacement therapy.

Osteoporosis is one of the most common aliments suffered by American's as they age and the strain on the health care system from fractures which occur as a result of this condition is considerable, not to mention the personal pain and suffering patients have to go through. This study recognizes that osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment as a result of fracture is inadequate for many people and more needs to be done to prevent further osteoporosis fracture in postmenopausal women.

Sources:
  • "Menopause and Osteoporosis". Cleveland Clinic. http://my.clevelandclinic.org
  • "What You Need to Know about Osteoporosis". American Physical Therapy Association. www.apta.org.
  • "Calcium and Healthy Bones". New York State Department of Health. www.health.state.ny.us.
  • "Prevention: Who's at Risk". National Osteoporosis Foundation. www.nof.org.