Diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis falls shortnon adherence compounds issue

Many patients who have broken a major bone are not getting adequate advice or health care from their medical practitioners, according to new research presented this week at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis in Toronto, Canada. Independent studies of patients in Belgium, Canada, and Germany confirm that there is a major gap in treating patients with osteoporosis, despite the availability of a wide range of drugs, supplements and practices that help maintain and even build bone strength.

Together, the studies demonstrate that osteoporosis is widely under diagnosed and under treated. Also troubling is the revelation that the majority of patients who are prescribed suitable medication stop taking the drugs prematurely.

Osteoporosis--Under Recognized and Under Treated

Doctors and other health care providers are not giving high-risk patients adequate information about osteoporosis or how to manage it, according to Canadian researchers. Susan Jaglal, University of Toronto, and colleagues evaluated follow up care practices at five communities in the province of Ontario and found that the majority of patients treated for low trauma fracture are not adequately screened for osteoporosis and receive poor quality care (see conference Abstract No. P203).

Low trauma fractures are caused by a force that would usually not break a bone, such as a fall from a standing position. These fractures are an important indication of osteoporosis and potentially a future, more debilitating fracture. "It is crucial that individuals who have sustained a low-trauma fracture follow-up with their family physician to investigate the possibility of osteoporosis," said Jaglal.

But her research indicates that among 125 patients who had a low-trauma fracture of the wrist, hip, spine, or shoulder in 2003, 63% had no known history of osteoporosis. Of those patients, 61 percent had not received a bone density scan since their fracture. A bone density sc

Contact: A Leopold
International Osteoporosis Foundation

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