Simple interventions boost vertebral fracture osteoporosis care
medwireNews : Use of osteoporosis investigation and treatment is significantly increased in older patients with asymptomatic vertebral fracture by use of physician-
Of 240 patients with a vertebral fracture detected incidentally during a chest radiograph at an emergency department, those whose family physician was given opinion-
All untreated controls were then reallocated to receive the physician intervention combined with a patient-
This translates to a significant 16% increase in osteoporosis diagnosis or treatment with the physician-
They note that the number needed to treat to improve osteoporosis diagnosis or treatment after incidental vertebral fracture detection was just two for either intervention.
"Even with the interventions studied, most (80%) study subjects remained untreated for osteoporosis, and our study is limited by the fact that we do not know what the achievable rates of treatment ought to be or the reasons that physicians or patients might have chosen to forgo treatment," the researchers comment in the American Journal of Medicine .
They explain that such reasons could include short life expectancy or osteoporosis medication contraindications, including kidney disease, risk factors for osteonecrosis of the jaw, or polypharmacy concerns.
"Collectively, such issues might lead pragmatic physicians and their informed patients to appropriately forgo or delay osteoporosis treatment, and so we estimate that benchmark rates of osteoporosis treatment in our study setting should be at least 60%-
Majumdar et al conclude: "Both interventions were simple and inexpensive and, until future studies are completed to determine methods that are more effective, we believe that the interventions tested here could be safely and effectively implemented in other settings."
By Lynda Williams, Senior medwireNews Reporter -