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Osteoporos Int. 2006;17(3):478-83. Epub 2005 Nov 9.

Osteoporosis intervention in ambulatory patients with previous hip fracture: a multicentric, nationwide Italian survey.

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Department of Internal Medicine, "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza" Hospital IRCCS, San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy.


Our study investigated the patterns of treatment and adherence to prescribed therapies in 2,191 ambulatory patients with previous hip osteoporotic fractures at 207 participating orthopedic centers throughout Italy. All patients who came to the attention of the involved orthopedic surgeons were administered a questionnaire investigating: age, sex, height, weight, date of admission and length of stay in the hospital, other previous clinical fractures, bone density or biochemical testing concerning mineral metabolism, treatment with bone-active drugs in the six months before the fracture, treatment after discharge from the hospital, continuous use of prescribed drugs, pain at the site of hip surgery, and comorbidity. A multivariate logistic regression model was applied, considering a subset of the variables in the questionnaire, in order to determine the factors that significantly influenced discontinuation of treatment after hip fracture. Among the patients, 88.1% were female and 86.2% of the subjects were older than 65. The mean length of hospital stay for hip fracture was 19.0+/-25.3 days. At the time of interview, the mean time elapsed since hospitalization was 542.9+/-1,197.3 days. A previous clinical fracture was referred by 20.2% of patients. Before hip fracture occurrence, 52.8% of patients had never received any kind of treatment, and this figure reached 80% if we also included those who had taken only calcium and/or vitamin D. Corresponding proportions after fracture were 22% and 31.3%, respectively. Finally, 52% of patients had stopped treatment given for osteoporosis after a mean period of 1.4 years. According to the results of the logistic regression, increasing age, pain [odds ratio (OR): 1.36; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.21-1.65] and no use of diagnostic tests (OR: 2.46; CI: 1.79-3.37) showed a positive effect on the probability of quitting the medication. On the other hand, being female reduces by half (OR: 0.49; CI: 0.37-0.45) the probability of quitting medication. Our data showed a low rate of primary prevention, a still insufficient post-fracture therapy, along with a high rate of early discontinuation of osteoporosis medication in patients with previous hip fracture.

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