Osteoporosis treatment and the risk of fractures

Jonathan Adachi

Why should we treat osteoporosis?

Jonathan Adachi: I think we should be treating patients with osteoporosis because fractures are associated with significant immobility and mortality. If you take a look at the consequence of a hip fracture, 30% [of patients] will die within the first 6 months of having sustained the hip fracture, another 40% will end up in a long-term care, requiring moving from home; mostly the patients lose some form of independence. And then there is the health-care cost of having fractures.

We also know that patients who have had vertebral fractures, or fractures of the spine, also are at increased risk of dying when they have that fracture – we know that they are at 3 times greater risk of dying following a fracture of the spine. So it is not like these are innocuous fractures. They have significant consequences to the individual that sustains them and to society as a whole.

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