Treatment rates of osteoporosis after fracture are very low. Women who suffer a fragility fracture have a greater chance of receiving anti-fracture treatment if they had low bone mineral density (BMD), a fracture at the hip, femur or pelvis, administration of calcium and vitamin D supplements and/or an age > or =60 years.
Introduction: This investigation identifies the predictors of osteoporosis treatment 6 to 8 months following fragility fracture in women >50 years of age.
Methods: In this prospective cohort study, women were recruited 0 to 16 weeks following fracture and classified as having experienced fragility or traumatic fractures (phase 1). Six to 8 months following fracture, women completed a questionnaire on demographic features, clinical characteristics and risk factors for osteoporosis (phase 2). Osteoporosis treatment was defined as initiating anti-fracture therapy (bisphosphonate, raloxifene, nasal calcitonin and teriparatide) after fracture in those previously untreated.
Results: Of the 1,273 women completing phase 1, 1,001 (79%) sustained a fragility fracture, and of these women, 738 were untreated for osteoporosis at phase 1 and completed the phase 2 questionnaire. Significant predictors of treatment included BMD result, fracture site, administration of calcium and vitamin D supplements at the time of fracture and age > or =60 years. All other risk factors for osteoporosis, such as fracture history after the age of 40 years, family history of osteoporosis and comorbidities did not significantly influence the treatment rate.
Conclusions: Physicians largely based their decision to treat on BMD results and not on the clinical event-fragility fracture.