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Fragility Fractures

Fragility Fractures

A Fragility Fracture is any fracture that follows a low impact injury, typically, a fall from a standing height or less.

In healthy people, such falls should not cause any bone fractures. If this happens, irrespective caused the fall, one should wonder what made the bones fragile. The first fracture is a warning sign, and a very important one! One broken bone  is plenty, and all effort should me made to prevent a future, and potentially more serious, fracture.

The most common cause of fragility fractures is osteoporosis.  An earlier stage is called osteopenia. About 52 million Americans have osteoporosis or osteopenia. Of those, two million break a bone each year. This number is expected to double by 2040.

  • Osteoporosis has no signs or symptoms until a fracture occurs.
  • One half of all women and up to one quarter of all men will suffer a fragility fracture in their lifetime.
  • If you have had a previous fragility fracture, you are twice as likely to suffer a fracture in the future.
  • Over 2 million fragility fractures occur each year – more than heart attacks, stokes, and breast cancer combined. This number is on the rise and expected to double by 2040.
  • While a wrist fracture may not have the most severe impact on life, a spine fracture, or a hip fracture, may end the patient up in a nursing home for life. There is also 25% increased risk for mortality following a hip fracture.

For more information about fragility fractures, prevention, and treatment, please check the main fragility fracture webpage.

New Doubts Regarding Value of Vitamin D Supplementation

From Medscape.com

A new meta-analysis of trials of vitamin D supplements failed to show beneficial effects for the prevention of hip fractures, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, or cancer in otherwise healthy adults. These finding may also cast doubt about the use of vitamin D suppliments to fight osteoporosis.

“The take-away message is that there is little justification currently for prescribing vitamin D to prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer, or fractures in otherwise-healthy people living in the community,” lead author Mark Bolland, PhD, from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, told Medscape Medical News in an email.

“In our paper, the only benefit from vitamin D was in reducing hip-fracture risk in elderly women living in residential care”, the author added.

One exception is people who have documented low levels of vitamin D. People at risk of low vitamin D levels include elderly people living in nursing homes, people who actively avoid the sun, and people with deeply dark skin.

There has been a recent surge of criticism regarding the role of nutrional suppliments in health. Suppliments have Abigail economic impact. The sales of vitamin D suppliments in the United States increased 10-fold during the period from 2002 to 2011, from $42 million to $605 million.

I doubt many physicians will advise patients against taking Vitamin D, but now there is less reason to put it on high priority, for example in patients who are already on a lot of prescription medications.

For more detail, follow thhe link:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/819670.

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