Osteoporotic Fractures Raise Mortality Risk in Elderly

Mortality elevated for five to 10 years after low-trauma fractures

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who experience low-trauma fractures are at increased risk of mortality for the following five to 10 years, and the risk period is extended by subsequent fractures, according to a report published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dana Bliuc, and colleagues at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Australia, analyzed data on 952 women and 343 men aged 60 years and older who sustained a fracture. They compared the incidence of major, minor, hip and vertebral fractures with age- and sex-specific standardized mortality ratios.

In all, 461 women and 197 men in the cohort died, and the standardized mortality ratios were higher for both men and women for all types of fractures, except minor fractures, which were only associated with increased mortality for those over 75 years of age, the investigators found. The elevated risk persisted for five years after all fractures and up to 10 years after hip fractures, the researchers report. A subsequent fracture extended the period of increased mortality for a further five years, the authors note.

"These data suggest fracture is a signal event that heralds an increased mortality risk: whether it is related to an underlying increased risk for both fracture and mortality, which may be the case for women, or whether it is related to some aspect of the fracture event itself, as appears to be the case for men, needs further exploration," Bliuc and colleagues write.

Several authors report financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry. The study received support from Amgen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Sanofi-Aventis, Servier, and Novartis.

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