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Fracture prevention strategies in patients presenting to Australian hospitals with minimal-trauma fractures: a major treatment gap

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Abstract Background:

The aim of this study was to examine current fracture prevention strategies through the recognition, investigation and treatment of osteoporosis in patients presenting to acute hospitals with minimal-trauma fracture. Methods:

A retrospective audit using a standardized database was conducted in 16 Australian hospitals. This involved 1829 cases of minimal-trauma fracture initially presenting to hospital emergency departments during 2003–2005. Cases of minimal-trauma fracture were retrospectively identified using diagnosis-related group fracture codes and case record review at each site. Relevant data were entered into a standardized database and analysed centrally and independently. Risk factors for osteoporosis, investigations, interventions and discharge follow up were recorded. Results:

The percentage of minimal-trauma fracture patients who underwent investigation or initiated therapy designed to prevent subsequent minimal-trauma fracture was obtained. Less than 13% of patients presenting to hospital with minimal-trauma fractures had risk factors for fracture identified. Ten per cent were appropriately investigated, 12% were commenced on calcium and 12% on vitamin D. Eight per cent started bisphosphonates and 1% selective oestrogens receptor modulators in the acute setting. Conclusion:

Most patients presenting to Australian hospitals with minimal-trauma fracture are neither investigated nor treated for osteoporosis. As this group is at high risk of subsequent fracture, this is a missed opportunity to reduce fracture burden.
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Keywords: bisphosphanates; fracture; osteoporosis; vitamin D

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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