A new American study presented today at EULAR 2012, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, calls for more aggressive management of osteoporosis in the extreme elderly as the true impact of osteoporotic hip fractures in those aged 80 years or older is unveiled.
Via the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), 4.3 million patients over the age of 65 with osteoporotic hip fractures were studied. Results showed that 67.3% of hip fractures occurred in the extreme elderly, increasing from 172,209 in 1993 to 180,428 in 2008. This growth was despite the fact that hip fracture prevalence decreased from 2,236 to 1,600 per 1,000 person-years in the same period, but is coincident with the dramatic rise in the extreme elderly population, from 7.7 million in 1993 to 11.2 million in 2008.
In addition, in 2008, the extreme elderly made up 42.3% of the elderly population, but accounted for 69% of hospitalisations. "We know that hip fracture in the extreme elderly is a serious problem due to the associated consequences of hospitalisation, disability and mortality," commented Ms. Amrita Sehgal from University of California, USA and lead study author. "This data is cause for concern as the impact highlighted will only increase along with this population segment. The question now is how we manage the extreme elderly more effectively to limit the impact that osteoporotic fractures have going forward."
With the extreme elderly predicted to comprise 25% of the total US population by 2050, this study calls for more aggressive measures to be introduced to enable osteoporosis to be more effectively prevented, diagnosed and treated. The study recommends that this should be via traditional methods, e.g. medical professionals, or more holistically via non-traditional settings and providers, like assisted living facilities.
More information: Abstract Number: OP0043