Under-recognition of fractures as osteoporosis indicators

Violet S. Lagari, Fatima Al-Yatama, Gracielena Rodriguez, Hara R. Berger, Silvina Levis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


After the first fracture, the risk of subsequent fractures increases significantly. Medical treatment can reduce the risk of a second fracture by about 50%, but many older adults do not receive osteoporosis medication following their first fracture. This observational study aimed to understand primary care management patterns of older adults after osteoporotic fractures at the Miami Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. A retrospective review of 219 fracture cases selected by International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) codes between October 2015 and September 2016 identified 114 individuals age ≥50 years who had a non-traumatic fracture code entered in their medical record for the first time. Among them, 72 (63%) did not undergo a bone mineral density (BMD) test or receive treatment in the 12 months following their fracture. Of the 40 individuals who had a BMD test post-fracture, 17 (100%) received or were considered for anti-osteoporosis treatment if their T-score indicated osteoporosis (T-score ≤-2.5), but only 8/23 (35%) if the T-score was >-2.5. Physicians are more likely to prescribe osteoporosis therapy based on a BMD T-score diagnosis of osteoporosis, rather than a clinical diagnosis of osteoporosis based on a low-trauma fracture. A change in practice patterns is necessary to decrease the incidence of fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Fracture
  • Low-trauma fracture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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