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Penn study finds smoking prolongs fracture healing
Date:3/22/2013

emur or hip, ankle, humerus, and multiple long bones. In total, 6,480 patient cases (treated both surgically and non-surgically) were evaluated in the studies.

With approximately 6.8 million fractures requiring medical treatment in the US annually, the researchers say the overall burden of musculoskeletal disease is substantial. Though recent efforts have been made to promote bone health through vitamin and mineral supplements and nutritional support, the research team says that altering social factors such as encouraging smoking cessation have been under-addressed. This void is causing both a disconnect in the short-term treatment for patients and a missed opportunity to improve long-term health.

"The effects of smoking intervention programs need to be discussed and instituted to promote better outcomes for post-fracture patients," says Mehta. "We have an opportunity to help patients understand that it's about more than just heart health, and that smoking puts you at a higher risk of complications and leads to longer healing times."

The research team says future studies are needed to evaluate the dose-dependent effects of smoking on fracture healing. In addition, the increasing use and production of smokeless tobacco presents new questions about the effects of nicotine, and other tobacco products, through non-combustable forms. Finally, studies that better delineate the impact of directed education and the effects of the timing of smoking cessation (both before and after surgery) on the post-operative complication rate are also needed to provide the best care for fracture patients.


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Contact: Katie Delach
katie.delach@uphs.upenn.edu
215-776-6063
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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