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Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2004 Jun;59(6):446-55; quiz 485.

Hip fracture prevention in postmenopausal women.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, and The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, USA.


Hip fracture is a devastating outcome associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis. This fracture causes considerable pain, disability, diminished quality of life, and mortality. Although bone loss is an important factor associated with hip fracture, there are other demographic and clinical factors such as those that increase the risk of falling (e.g., unsteady gait, medications) that contribute to the likelihood of experiencing a hip fracture. Nonpharmacological interventions to reduce hip fracture risk include regular weight-bearing exercise, fall intervention programs, and external hip protectors. Patients should receive calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation as necessary. Among available pharmacologic options, the bisphosphonates, risedronate (Actonel) and alendronate (Fosamax), have reduced the risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Raloxifene (Evista), salmon calcitonin nasal spray (Miacalcin), and teriparatide (Forteo) have not demonstrated hip fracture risk reduction in controlled clinical trials. Hormone therapy (HT) reduced hip fracture risk in a recent large placebo-controlled trial; however, the risk/benefit profile of HT has resulted in recommendations to consider alternatives for the management of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis should receive adequate calcium/vitamin D supplementation, be encouraged to exercise, and institute risk factor interventions. Treatment with a bisphosphonate should be considered for those who are also at increased risk for hip fracture.


Obstetricians & Gynecologyists, Family Physicians


After completion of this article the reader should be able to list the demographic risk factors for osteoporosis and related fractures, to outline the cost and consequences of hip fractures, and to summarize the various pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions used to reduce the risk of hip fracture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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