2nd Fracture Risk Same in Men as Women
But Not Enough of Either Sex Gets Osteoporosis Treatment After a Break
44 Million Americans at Risk continued...
A total of 905 women and 337 men experienced at least one
osteoporosis-related fracture during that time; and 253 women and 71 men had a
The risk of having a second fracture was found to be similar for women and
men. Within 10 years of experiencing a first fracture, 40% of surviving women
in the study and 60% of surviving men had a second fracture.
The highest risks were seen among people who had experienced hip and spinal
fractures. The most common sites of fractures related to bone weakening are the
hips, spine, wrist, and ribs.
Treatment Rates Still Low
The Australian study did not examine the impact of osteoporosis treatment on
fracture rates. But previous research suggests that such treatment can reduce
the risk of a second fracture by half, Center says.
Greater use of osteoporosis drugs could have a huge impact on the at-risk
elderly population, rheumatologist and epidemiologist Daniel Solomon, MD, MPH,
of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, tells WebMD.
“About 50% of people who have hip fractures lose their independence as a
result, and many of them end up in nursing homes,” Solomon says.
Three years ago, Solomon and colleagues reported that as few as one in five
people who had had osteoporosis-related hip or wrist fractures received
treatment to help prevent future fractures.
Their latest analysis suggests that more high-risk patients are being
treated, but Solomon says treatment rates are still far too low.
Now, only about 30% of patients are started on osteoporosis drugs after
suffering a hip fracture related to bone weakening, and only about one in 10
hip fracture patients in nursing homes receive treatment, he says.
“Virtually every guideline says that people who have had an
[osteoporosis-related] fracture should be on treatment, but, for whatever
reason, that isn’t happening,” he says.
“It doesn’t make sense because these treatments work," says Solomon.
"They reduce future fractures and can have a big impact on morbidity and