Intended for healthcare professionals


Managing osteoporosis in older people with fractures

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 07 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:382

Many figures in editorial were overstated

  1. Martyn J Parker, orthopaedic research fellow (
  1. Orthopaedic Department, Peterborough General Hospital, Peterborough PE1 1UN
  2. Hemel Hempstead General Hospital, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP2 4AD

    EDITOR—Articles that raise the profile of osteoporosis should not lead to overreactions by exaggerating both the consequences of the condition and the effectiveness of preventive methods. Doube's editorial on osteoporosis in elderly people unfortunately does this.1

    This is a difficult condition on which to put precise figures for mortality and morbidity as many of the outcomes are related to other conditions customarily present in this population. The aetiology of a hip fracture is related to the processes of ageing, including impaired mobility, vision, and neuromuscular coordination. To attribute all subsequent deterioration to the fracture is inappropriate. The mortality of 33% quoted by Doube relates to the mortality at one year,2 and all deaths over this period should not be attributed to the hip fracture. About 10% of deaths will be expected in …

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