Low trauma arm fractures and osteoporosis: An early warning system

More than 1.4 million Canadians have osteoporosis, a chronic condition that causes bones to become fragile and fracture easily. Clinical trials have shown that lifestyle changes and early medical management can reduce osteoporotic fractures in high-risk people. Past studies suggest that many people over 50 years of age who suffer a minor fracture are at risk for osteoporosis. This is an ideal time for osteoporosis investigation. Yet these patients are most often treated for the fracture alone and not investigated for osteoporosis. The aim of Maureen Ashe’s research is to investigate whether educating patients and raising physician awareness about osteoporosis after a low-trauma fracture could improve the investigation rate and if necessary, enable more patients to receive preventative therapy. Preliminary results from the study indicate that after providing education to patients and physicians at hospital fracture clinics, a substantially higher number of patients were assessed for osteoporosis.