Prior Fractures Could Raise Older Women's Odds for Osteoporosis

These women may also become more disabled from the bone disease, study finds

MONDAY, Aug. 23, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who suffered bone fractures earlier in life may be at higher risk for osteoporosis today, a new study suggests.

When these women develop osteoporosis, their loss in health-related quality of life becomes similar to that experienced by people with arthritis, lung disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, said the international team of researchers.

The findings are from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW), led by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It includes women in 10 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The team interviewed 60,000 women over the age of 55. They found that 90 percent of those with fractures suffered more pain, depression, mobility problems, or anxiety. Spine, hip, and upper leg fractures resulted in the greatest decrease in quality of life.

"Our study shows that the effects of fractures result in significant reductions in quality of life that are as lasting and as disabling as other chronic conditions," Cyrus Cooper, a professor of rheumatology at the University of Southampton, said in a university news release.

"As important, the greater the number of fractures, the greater the disability. More needs to be done to identify and treat individuals at the highest risk of fractures," Cooper said.

The research was published recently in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about osteoporosis.

SOURCE: University of Southampton, news release, Aug. 18, 2010.
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