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J Br Menopause Soc. 2003 Sep;9(3):101-6.

Falls and fractures in postmenopausal women: a review.

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  • 1Biomedical Research Institute, Limburgs Universitair Centrum, Diepenbeek, Belgium.


Older people are a major risk group for falls. 35-40% of over-65s living at home fall at least once a year, and between a third and a half of these fall twice or more. The figure rises to 50% for the over-80s. Falls contribute to the occurrence of fractures. Of all the fractures linked to osteoporosis and falls, hip fractures are the most important in terms of early death, functional dependence, and costs of care. Many identifiable risk factors have been shown to contribute to hip fracture risk, including low bone density, previous fractures, clinical risk factors for falls, and low body weight. Interaction has been found between falls and osteoporosis in the occurrence of fractures. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate whether a combined bone- and fall-directed therapy can further decrease the risk for fractures in patients with low bone density and an increased fall risk.

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