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Study looks at the risk of repeat fractures in older people

01/25/2007 - News

Study looks at the risk of repeat fractures in older people

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Study looks at the risk of repeat fractures in older people

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Both older men and women have a substantial risk of suffering a repeat fracture when they have already had one.
Previous evidence has suggested that a prior fracture increases the risk of subsequent fracture. But only a minority of those at risk are given preventive treatment to prevent these new fractures from occurring. The findings of a new study from the University of South Wales, Sydney, Australia, may raise awareness of the refracture risk.

The researchers looked at a group of 905 women and 337 men who had had an initial fracture. They followed them up for 16 years and learned that 253 women and 71 men experienced refracture. This meant that women had nearly twice the risk of refracture and men had 3.5 times the risk. Moreover, the risk remained for up to ten years with 40 to 60 per cent of the surviving women and men suffering a refracture.

All fracture locations carried this risk, apart from rib or ankle. The hip and vertebra were the riskiest locations for younger men. Further analysis showed that thigh bone mineral density, age and smoking raised the risk of subsequent fracture among women while for men thigh bone mineral density, physical activity and calcium intake were the main risk factors. Clearly there is an urgent need to address the risk of refracture among older people with preventive treatment.

Source
Journal of the American Medical Association 24/31 January 2007 Volume 197 pages 387-394

Created on: 01/25/2007
Reviewed on: 01/25/2007

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