Wrist fractures have an important public health impact

Jul 08, 2010

Wrist fractures have an important personal and public health impact and may play a role in the development of disability in older people, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Wrist fractures are the most common upper extremity fractures in and can affect everyday tasks like carrying heavy objects, opening doors, cutting food, pouring liquid, turning the key, and getting out of a chair. But their precise impact on functional decline (ability to carry out usual daily activities) has not been well studied.

So a team of US researchers set out to quantify the clinical impact of wrist fractures in a group of older women.

They identified 6,107 healthy women, aged 65 years and older, without prior wrist or hip fracture. Five activities of daily living were used as a measure of functional decline (meal preparation, heavy housekeeping, ability to climb 10 stairs, shopping, and getting out of a car). Participants were examined approximately every two years for an average of 7.6 years.

During the study period, 268 women had a wrist fracture. These women were approximately 50% more likely to experience clinically important functional decline compared to women without a wrist fracture, even after accounting for demographic, health and lifestyle factors.

In fact, the effect of a wrist fracture on functional decline was clinically as significant as other established risk factors such as falls, diabetes and arthritis.

"Our findings highlight the personal, public health, and policy implications of wrist fractures," say the authors.

They call for greater public health awareness of the impact of wrist fractures, including measures to prevent wrist fractures and prompt rehabilitation after a wrist fracture to help improve recovery.

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Proton pump inhibitors increase risk of bone fractures

Aug 12, 2008

Patients who use proton pump inhibitors for 7 or more years to treat reflux, peptic ulcers and other conditions are at greater risk of osteoporosis-related fractures, according to this large observational study of 15,792 ...

HIV patients at greater risk for bone fractures

Aug 28, 2008

HIV-infected patients have a higher prevalence of fractures than non HIV-infected patients, across both genders and critical fracture sites according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.