Osteoporosis in very elderly nursing home patients

Todd H. Goldberg, Maria H. Restrepo, Huyan D. Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the prevalence of osteoporosis in frail elderly nursing home patients who are at the highest risk of falls and fractures. Subjects/Setting: Case series of 22 frail, very elderly patients from the authors' practice in a predominantly white Jewish urban nursing home in Philadelphia, PA. Methods: Portable dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) bone mineral density (BMD) scans were done on the wrist (radius and ulna, RU) in 22 consecutive patients, and medical records were reviewed for concomitant conditions. Results: The median age of the patients was 87 years; 86% were female; 77% had dementia; 78% had atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease; 59% were ambulatory; and most (68%) had already suffered fractures. The median DEXA T score (for the distal RU) was -2.9, for the proximal RU - 6.7, and for the proximal radius -6.49. All subjects met the criteria for the diagnosis of osteoporosis, with the great majority (77%) judged to have severe osteoporosis, Stage IV. Conclusions: This study, although small, demonstrates that most frail women in the nursing home have osteoporosis, usually severe, and may benefit from more aggressive treatment for osteoporosis. Further studies are needed, particularly concerning the efficacy of treatment for reducing fractures in this most vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Long-Term Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 19 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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