Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk Of Falling Is Overlooked As The Major Cause Of Fractures In The Elderly

Date:
January 19, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
An elderly person's risk of falling is too often overlooked when trying to prevent them from getting serious fractures, for instance of the hip or wrist, according to a new article.

An elderly person's risk of falling is too often overlooked when trying to prevent them from getting serious fractures, for instance of the hip or wrist, according to an article published in the British Medical Journal.

The Finnish authors says studies show that if the focus were to be switched to how at risk someone is of falling, rather than whether they have the bone disease osteoporosis, then considerably more fractures in elderly people could be prevented. However, many important publications completely overlook falling as a risk factor and it is still very poorly recognised and assessed by doctors.

Dr Jarvinen and colleagues say current fracture prevention methods have serious limitations. At the moment an individual is screened to see whether they have osteoporosis, and is then treated accordingly with medication. Yet the test which determines whether someone has the disease is flawed. It assesses bone mineral density (BMD) and can often either over and under-estimate that density. BMD is therefore a poor predictor of whether a person is likely to suffer a fracture and is of little diagnostic value to a GP.

The cost of using drugs to prevent fractures in the elderly is also extremely high. For example the researchers calculated that 577 postmenopausal women would have to be treated with osteoporosis drugs (known as bisphosphonates) for one year to avert one hip fracture, at a cost of about 120,000. Among a high risk population (women over 80), for whom drug prevention would theoretically be most effective, prevention of one hip fracture costs about 28,500. Yet 80% of hip fractures would still occur.

The authors say falling is the major cause of nine in ten hip fractures and drug therapy would not prevent more fractures because the drugs cannot be expected to work on fall-related risk factors. Eight in ten fractures also occur in people who do not even have osteoporosis.

The authors go on to say it is important for GPs to identify at-risk individuals and assess their needs. Current evidence-based recommendations for preventing falls include regular strength and balance training, taking Vitamin D and Calcium supplements and an assessment of the possible hazards in the homes of at-risk people. There is evidence that fall prevention efforts can reduce the incidence of falls by up to 50% in the elderly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Risk Of Falling Is Overlooked As The Major Cause Of Fractures In The Elderly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118093611.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, January 19). Risk Of Falling Is Overlooked As The Major Cause Of Fractures In The Elderly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118093611.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Risk Of Falling Is Overlooked As The Major Cause Of Fractures In The Elderly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118093611.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins