Risk Factors for Fragility Fracture

Barbara Harry, APN-C
Cooper Bone and Joint Institute

In addition to causing pain and loss of function, fractures in the elderly represent an enormous financial burden in terms of both direct and indirect health care costs. In 1995, osteoporotic fractures were the presumed cause of 432,000 hospitalizations, approximately 2.5 million physician visits, and 180,000 nursing home admissions. Once an individual has a fragility fracture, the likelihood of another fracture is greatly increased, thus also increasing morbidity and mortality rates.

The following are recognized risk factors that increase your risk for fragility fractures:

  • Advanced Age
  • Female Sex
  • Personal History of Adult Fracture
  • History of Fracture in First-Degree Relative
  • Dementia
  • Poor Health
  • Fragilty
  • Caucasian Race
  • Asian race
  • Menopause before Age 45
  • Documented Low BMD
  • Oral Glucocorticoid Use
  • Recurrent Falls
  • Smoking
  • Alcholism
  • Estrogen Deficiency
  • Lifelong Low Calcium Intake
  • Low Body Weight
  • Excessive Protein Intake


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