Guidelines suggest identification of women at fracture risk by bone density measurement and subsequently pharmacotherapy. However, most women who sustain a hip fracture do not have osteoporosis in terms of bone density. The present non-pharmacological intervention among elderly women unselected for osteoporosis reduced hip fracture risk by 55 % providing an alternative approach to fracture prevention.
Introduction: Hip fractures are expensive for society and cause disability for those who sustain them. We studied whether a multifactorial non-pharmacological prevention program reduces hip fracture risk in elderly women.
Methods: A controlled trial concerning 60- to 70-year-old community-dwelling Finnish women was undertaken. A random sample was drawn from the Population Information System and assigned into the intervention group (IG) and control group (CG). Of the 2,547 women who were invited to the IG, 1,004 (39 %) and of the 2,120 invited to the CG, 1,174 (55 %) participated. The IG participated in a fracture prevention program for 1 week at a rehabilitation center followed by review days twice. The CG received no intervention. During the 10-year follow-up, both groups participated in survey questionnaire by mail. Outcome of interest was occurrence of hip fractures and changes in bone-health-related lifestyle.
Results: During the follow-up, 12 (1.2 %) women in the IG and 29 (2.5 %) in the CG sustained a hip fracture (P = 0.039). The determinants of hip fractures by stepwise logistic regression were baseline smoking (odds ratio (OR) 4.32 (95 % confidence interval [CI] 2.14-8.71), age OR 1.15/year (95 % CI 1.03-1.28), fall history OR 2.7 (95 % CI 1.24-5.9), stroke history OR 2.99 (95 % CI 1.19-7.54) and participating in this program OR 0.45 (95 % CI 0.22-0.93). Starting vitamin D and calcium supplement use was more common in the IG compared with the CG.
Conclusions: The results suggest that this non-pharmacological fracture prevention program may reduce the risk of hip fractures in elderly Finnish women.