Older patients will make lifestyle changes to avoid fractures, study finds

June 14, 2013

Older patients who know they are at risk of fractures will make positive lifestyle changes to avoid them, such as exercising, wearing proper footwear and taking supplements, a new study has found.

The findings are important because much previous research in has focused on medications or found that people make negative such as reducing housework or leisure activities because they are afraid of falling, said

Dr. Joanna Sale, a researcher at St. Michael's Hospital and lead author of the study.

Half of all women over the age of 50 and one in five men over 50 will have a fracture after falling from standing height or lower. Having one such fracture doubles a person's risk of having another.

Dr. Sale, a clinical epidemiologist, said her research was aimed at finding ways to prevent those repeat fractures, particularly hip , because about half of all patients die or end up in long-term care facilities.

Dr. Sale's study, published online in the prestigious journal Osteoporosis International, looked at patients over 65 who participated in the Osteoporosis Exemplary Care Program at St. Michael's Fracture Clinic. Research participants were interviewed about their perceived , recommendations they received about their bone health, results of bone density tests and any lifestyle or behavioural changes they made since their last fracture.

All but one participant appeared to understand they had low and were at risk of a future fracture, but many were confused about the significance of bone density.

Many said they didn't want to think about the possibility of a future fracture and felt they had little control over risk factors such as age – yet they all engaged in a number of daily behavioural strategies to manage their fracture risk. Most were concerned about being careful, such as using handrails or wearing proper shoes.

But they also said they were considering or taking , were exercising more, eating a healthy diet and taking supplements or using walking aids or devices.

Dr. Sale said she believes the results of her study are in part due to the Osteoporosis Exemplary Care Program at St.

Michael's that includes a coordinator who educates and follows up with patients.

Explore further: New study highlights what works in osteoporosis treatment

Related Stories

Grandad's hip fracture a risk factor for osteoporosis

March 11, 2013

Has your paternal or maternal grandfather broken their hip on any occasion? In that case there is a greater risk that your own bones are more fragile as an adult. This has been demonstrated in a thesis at the Sahlgrenska ...

Recommended for you

Can nicotine protect the aging brain?

September 20, 2016

Everyone knows that tobacco products are bad for your health, and even the new e-cigarettes may have harmful toxins. However, according to research at Texas A&M, it turns out the nicotine itself—when given independently ...

Science can shape healthy city planning

September 23, 2016

Previous studies have shown a correlation between the design of cities and growing epidemics of injuries and non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A three-part series published in The Lancet ...

50-country comparison of child and youth fitness levels

September 21, 2016

An international research team co-led from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the University of North Dakota studied the aerobic fitness levels of children and youth across 50 countries. The results are ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.