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With a Broken Hip Comes Higher Risk for Dying
Date:8/4/2009

ut the possible dangers of osteoporosis as early as age 50, Ioannidis said. "If you are worried about it, you definitely should consult your physician," he said. "We can act early. We have medications that are very effective, and a variety of non-medical interventions to reduce the incidence of falls that cause fractures."

Those non-medical interventions are a specialty of Maureen Ashe, co-author of a commentary accompanying the report, and an investigator at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver General Hospital and an assistant professor of family practice at the University of British Columbia.

The toll taken by fractures might be greater than reported in the study, Ashe noted. Cognitive impairment and dementia are major risk factors for fall-related fractures, she said, and people with those conditions are difficult to recruit and thus might be under-represented in the study.

Other medical risk factors include worsening vision, decreased sense of balance and possible effects of the multiple medications taken by many older people, she said.

Bone health can be helped, she said, by adequate physical activity.

"But there are both internal and external factors" involved in fractures, she said. "A lot of preventive research has been done about improving a person's environment, such as making sure there is adequate lighting, fastening scatter rugs, providing handrails where necessary."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more on osteoporosis.



SOURCES: George Ioannidis, Ph.D., health research methodologist, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Maureen Ashe, Ph.D., investigator, Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Vancouver General Hospital, and assistant professor of famil
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