06/25/2009 - News

Osteoporotic Fractures Increase Mortality Risk

By: June Chen, MD


Data on the long-term risk of death after osteoporosis-related fracture are limited. In a sample of older women and men, all low-trauma fractures were associated with increased mortality risk for 5 to 10 years after the fracture, according to a study in the February 4, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association .


Researchers from St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Australia examined a group of community-dwelling adults aged 60 and over who had sustained an osteoporotic, or low-trauma, fracture between April 1989 and May 2007. Among the women in the sample, there were 952 low-trauma fractures followed by 461 deaths. Among the men, there were 343 fractures followed by 197 deaths. Mortality risk was increased for nearly all types of fractures, including hip fractures and vertebral fractures, but excluding minor fractures, which only increased mortality in adults over the age of 75. Among the adults examined who had a subsequent fracture, mortality risk declined but was still higher than the general population for an additional 5 years.

The reasons for this increase in mortality risk are not entirely clear, but the findings of this study do highlight the importance of osteoporosis-related fracture prevention among older adults who are at risk for bone loss and falls.


JAMA. 2009;301(5):513-521.

Created on: 02/13/2009
Reviewed on: 06/25/2009

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