Osteoporotic fractures associated with increased mortality risk

May 3, 2009

There is increased mortality risk associated with all major osteoporotic fractures in patients of all ages and even with minor fractures in older patients for 5 to 10 years after the fracture. A subsequent fracture results in an increased risk for an additional period.

There is increased mortality risk associated with all major osteoporotic fractures in patients of all ages and even with minor fractures in older patients for 5 to 10 years after the fracture. A subsequent fracture results in an increased risk for an additional period.

Bliuc and associates examined long-term mortality risk in 614 men and women 60 years and older from the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study who sustained at least 1 low-trauma fracture. Age- and sex-specific standardized mortality ratios for hip, vertebral, major, and minor fractures were compared with the overall Dubbo population.

For all participants, mortality rates increased with age. The death toll was greatest among persons with hip fracture, followed by a vertebra, major bone (eg, pelvis, proximal tibia, proximal humerus), and minor bone. Men were more likely to die of initial and subsequent fractures than women. Those who sustained any fracture or a hip fracture were at heightened risk for death for 5 years or 10 years afterward, respectively. Subsequent fracture increased the risk for another 5 years.

The authors noted that this is the first finding of increased mortality associated with minor fractures and that more attention should be paid to low-trauma fractures.