Small measures that can reduce hip fractures
Simple strategies to strengthen your bones, implemented by the whole community not just those at higher risk, could lead to a substantial decrease in hip fractures, a new Australian study suggests.
A hip fracture, particularly in the elderly, dramatically increases the risk of death. Around 37 percent of men and 20 percent of women die within one year of a hip fracture. It also causes significant pain and suffering, loss of mobility and independence, and increased healthcare costs.
Professor Tuan Nguyen said, “Bone health is affected by lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity and nutrition, including vitamin D and dietary calcium intake. Stopping smoking, maintaining moderate physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can all help reduce bone loss.”
The researchers analysed data from the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study, one of the longest-running studies on osteoporosis in the world. It includes more than 3000 individuals over 60 years of age, who have been tracked over time for fracture incidence and risk factors.
They found that between the first cohort in 1988-92 and the second in 1999-2001, bone mineral density increased by 3 percent. During the same period, there was a 45 percent decrease in hip fractures, a decline typically associated with a 10 percent rise in bone mineral density.
Reference: Prevention of hip fractures: trade-off between minor benefits to individuals and large benefits to the community, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, DOI 10.1002/jbmr.4907
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed