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QJM. 2010 Jan;103(1):33-40. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcp154. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Low rates of treatment in postmenopausal women with a history of low trauma fractures: results of audit in a Fracture Liaison Service.

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Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.



A past history of low trauma fracture is a strong risk factor for future fractures in postmenopausal women and national guidance recommends treatment in the majority of such women


To establish the prevalence of bone protective therapy use in postmenopausal women with a history of low trauma fracture Design and


Clinical audit of 1641 postmenopausal women presenting with a low trauma fracture to the Fracture Liaison Service at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge between January 2006 and December 2007.


A total of 526 (31%) women presenting with a fracture had a past history of fracture, defined as a low trauma fracture after the age of 45 years. The wrist was the most common site of previous fracture, followed by hip, hand or foot, lower leg and humerus. Of these women, only 27.6% were receiving bone protective therapy with a bisphosphonate (89%) or other medication. Calcium and vitamin D supplements were received by 35.6%. The highest rates of treatment were seen for spine and hip fracture (61.9 and 49.3%, respectively). Only 45.1% of women aged 75 years and over with a previous history of fracture were receiving bone protective therapy.


The results of our audit demonstrate low rates of treatment in postmenopausal women with a history of low trauma fracture. Better education of healthcare professionals, more consistent recording of fractures in primary care and the use of clearly defined care pathways that involve patients and their carers provide rational approaches to reducing this care gap.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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