Programme reduces hip fractures by 37 percent
Nov 5, 2008 - 3:43:47 PM

Washington, Nov 5 - Proactive measures can reduce hip fracture rates by an average of 37.2 percent and as much as 50 percent among those at risk, according to a study.

The five-year study, the most exhaustive of its kind, conducted by Kaiser Permanente, tracked more than 625,000 male and female patients over the age of 50 in Southern California, who had specific risk factors for osteoporosis and/or hip fractures.

Of the 10 million Americans who have osteoporosis, 80 percent are women. More than 300,000 hip fractures are reported annually in the US. Twenty-four percent end up in a nursing home, 50 percent never reach their functional capacity, and 25 percent of patients with a hip fracture die in the first year after the incident.

The implementation of a number of initiatives in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Healthy Bones Program reduced the hip fracture rates beyond the goal rate of 25 percent.

'One-half of all women and one-third of all men will sustain a fragility fracture in their lifetime. The mortality rate due to osteoporosis-related fractures is greater than the rates for breast cancer and cervical cancer combined,' said co-author Richard M. Dell, orthopaedic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Centre.

'Yet it's a misconception that nothing can be done to prevent or treat osteoporosis. It is possible to achieve at least a 25 percent reduction in the hip fracture rate in the United States if a more active role is taken by all orthopedic surgeons in osteoporosis disease management.'

National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that although osteoporosis can affect people of all ages, the problem has reached epidemic proportions with the rapidly ageing population, said a Kaiser Permanente release.

The study was published online by The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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