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Swiss Med Wkly. 2008 Nov 15;138(45-46):674-83. doi: /aop/smw-aop12294.

Management of fragility fractures in Switzerland: results of a nationwide survey.

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Treatment Centre for Musculoskeletal Diseases, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


A nationwide survey was conducted in Switzerland to assess the quality level of osteoporosis management in patients aged 50 years or older presenting with a fragility fracture to the emergency ward of the participating hospitals. Eight centres recruited 4966 consecutive patients who presented with one or more fractures between 2004 and 2006. Of these, 3667 (2797 women, 73.8 years old and 870 men, 73.0 years old in average) were considered as having a fragility fracture and included in the survey. Included patients presented with a fracture of the upper limbs (30.7%), lower limbs (26.4%), axial skeleton (19.5%) or another localisation, including malleolar fractures (23.4%). Thirty-two percent reported one or more previous fractures during adulthood. Of the 2941 (80.2%) hospitalised women and men, only half returned home after discharge. During diagnostic workup, dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurement was performed in 31.4% of the patients only. Of those 46.0% had a T-score < or =-2.5 SD and 81.1% < or =-1.0 SD. Osteoporosis treatment rate increased from 26.3% before fracture to 46.9% after fracture in women and from 13.0% to 30.3% in men. However, only 24.0% of the women and 13.8% of the men were finally adequately treated with a bone active substance, generally an oral bisphosphonate, with or without calcium / vitamin D supplements. A positive history of previous fracture vs none increased the likelihood of getting treatment with a bone active substance (36.6 vs 17.9%, ? 18.7%, 95% CI 15.1 to 22.3, and 22.6 vs 9.9%, ? 12.7%, CI 7.3 to 18.5, in women and men, respectively). In Switzerland, osteoporosis remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in patients aged 50 years and older presenting with a fragility fracture.

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