Intended for healthcare professionals


Managing osteoporosis in older people with fractures

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:477

Needs to be taken as seriously as coronary artery disease

  1. Alan Doube, Consultant rheumatologist
  1. Waikato Hospital, Private Bag 3200, Hamilton, New Zealand

    papers p 500

    The World Health Organisation has compared osteoporosis to hypercholesterolaemia and hypertension, which are both asymptomatic conditions until an important tissue damaging event such as myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident occurs. Bone fracture, especially fracture with minimal trauma, is the feared endpoint of osteoporosis. Fractures of the wrist, hip, and vertebrae are well recognised consequences of the loss of mechanical strength that occurs as bone thins. These fractures are common in many countries, particularly among elderly people, and the burden they produce is expected to rise enormously in the next few decades. Pal's article in this issue (p 500) underscores the hesitancy with which doctors currently approach this silent epidemic of osteoporosis.1

    The cost of osteoporosis is huge in both human and economic terms. Data …

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