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Aggressive Identification of Patients Cuts Hip Fractures

Study suggests osteoporosis-related injuries are not inevitable

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Aggressive identification and management of patients at risk for osteoporosis-related hip fractures can substantially reduce the incidence rate, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 supplement of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Richard M. Dell, M.D., of Kaiser Downey in California, and colleagues conducted an evaluation of 650,000 patients in Kaiser Southern California under the Healthy Bones Program, reviewing electronic medical records for use of anti-osteoporosis medication, use of dual X-ray absorptiometry scans and incidence of fragility fractures.

Since the program was launched, the annual dual X-ray absorptiometry scan utilization rate rose 263 percent from 2002 to 2007, and anti-osteoporosis medication use rose 153 percent over the same period, from 33,208 per year to 84,155 per year in 2007, the researchers found. The reduction in hip fracture rate varied from one facility to another, ranging from 31 to 54.3 percent, yielding an overall hip fracture rate reduction of 38.1 percent, or 970 less hip fractures in 2007.

"There is still a widely held misconception among many orthopedic surgeons that nothing can be done to prevent or treat osteoporosis," the authors write. "We believe that, with the wide adoption of similar healthy bones programs, it will be possible to decrease the hip fracture rate in the United States by 25 percent or more."

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