Osteoporosis appears to be poorly treated after fractures

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Despite proven benefits, only 22 percent of patients are using medications to reduce their risk of repeat fracture 

Hip and wrist factures, suffered by more than 550,000 individuals annually, are a leading cause of hospitalization and death in the elderly. Often one fracture from osteoporosis leads to another, but with the help of medications, this risk can be cut by as much as 60 percent. However, as outlined in the October issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers determined that despite their proven benefits, the majority of fracture patients were not taking osteoporosis medications, even when available at significantly reduced rates. Given the availability of effective medications, it seems natural that when patients who have sustained a fracture discuss treatment with their physician, an osteoporosis therapy would be prescribed, said Daniel Solomon, a rheumatologist and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Surprisingly, we found that the vast majority of patients were not taking these medications in the six months after a hip or wrist fracture, two common fractures related to osteoporosis.