Hip fractures triple elderly women’s chances of dying

February 5th, 2009 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 5 (IANS) Bone fractures, even minor ones, increase a person’s chances of dying, particularly if he is elderly. But hip fractures just double the risk for women, which is three times the risk for men. These findings underline the importance of preventing and treating osteoporosis, a devastating condition that affects millions worldwide, including two million Australians.

Someone is hospitalised with an osteoporotic fracture every five to six minutes, averaging 262 hospitalisations daily in Australia.

Dana Bliuc and Jackie Center, who heads the Bone Clinical and Epidemiology Research Group at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, conducted the research.

Data was obtained from Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study, a longitudinal, population-based study, started in 1989, of 952 women and 343 men over 60 years with a fracture, living northwest of Sydney, who were followed up to 18 years.

Center first looked at mortality and fracture in 1999, when her five-year data was published in The Lancet.

“The current study is the first time we’ve looked at long term data, the first time we’ve looked at different age groups and shown the effects of minor fractures, and the first time we’ve looked at subsequent fracture in relation to mortality,” she said.

“In women over the age of 75, there’s about a 40 per cent increased mortality after a minor fracture, such as a wrist fracture. That risk increases up to twofold for vertebral fractures, and two and a half fold for hip fractures,” Center said, according to a Garvan release.

“For men increased mortality is a little bit higher. It’s about 80 per cent higher than the general population for minor fractures in men over the age of 75, about twofold higher for vertebral fractures, and approaching threefold for hip fractures.”

These findings were published in the Wednesday edition of JAMA, the Journal of American Medical Association.

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