Fractures significantly reduce quality of life in postmenopausal women

Aug 10, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two in five women over 50 will suffer a fracture of the hip, spine or wrist that will lead to increased risk of chronic pain, reduced mobility, loss of independence and, in some cases, death.

New research led by a renowned McMaster University rheumatologist has shown that who report previous fractures experience a significant reduction in health-related quality of life. The decrease is similar or worse than that experienced by patients with diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic illnesses.

"Our study shows that the effects of fractures result in significant reductions in quality of life that are as lasting and as disabling as other chronic conditions," said Rick Adachi, a professor of medicine in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster and the holder of the Alliance for Better Chair in Rheumatology. "As important, this study shows the greater the number of fractures, the greater the disability. This suggests that efforts are needed to prevent fractures from occurring."

The research findings, published online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, are the latest to emerge from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW).

GLOW is a large international, observational study of women 55 years of age and older who are at risk of fractures. Nearly 60,000 women are participating in GLOW worldwide, including 3,985 in Hamilton, the only Canadian site of the study. GLOW gathers information on fracture , treatments, patient behaviors and fracture outcomes over a five-year period.

To examine the impact of common fractures on quality of life, the study authors administered health surveys to 57,141 postmenopausal women in 10 countries in Europe, North America and Australia. The surveys measured five dimensions of health (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression) as well as overall health status, physical function and vitality of participants.

The study found that spine, hip and upper leg fractures resulted in the greatest decrease in quality of life. For the Canadian site of GLOW, Adachi and his team found that 22 per cent of participants reported previous fractures.

"The results of this large international, observational study demonstrate the significant effects that fractures of a variety of bones have on postmenopausal women's health-related quality of life," the study authors wrote.

"Notwithstanding improvements in medical management of fractures, women with fractures continue to have lower health-related quality of life, and these impairments need to be addressed."

Explore further: CDC: Routine procedures lead to two cases of HCV transmission

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Make or break time for osteoporosis treatment

Mar 10, 2008

Women who do not comply with treatment instructions for osteoporosis or who do not respond to treatment are more likely to suffer further fractures, which seriously affects their quality of life.

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.

Recommended for you

Global Ebola conference seeks end to W.Africa outbreak

5 hours ago

Leaders of Ebola-hit countries in west Africa will attend an international conference in Brussels Tuesday to mobilise a final push to end the outbreak and ensure the delivery of nearly $5 billion in aid pledges.

High prevalence of HCV in baby boomers presenting to ER

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of unrecognized chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is high among baby boomers presenting to the emergency department, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in Hepatology.

The hidden burden of dengue fever in West Africa

15 hours ago

Misdiagnosis of febrile illnesses as malaria is a continuing problem in Africa. A new study shows that in Ghana, dengue fever is circulating in urban areas and going undiagnosed. The authors of the study hope to use the findings ...

Teenager with stroke symptoms actually had Lyme disease

15 hours ago

A Swiss teenager, recently returned home from a discotheque, came to the emergency department with classic sudden symptoms of stroke, only to be diagnosed with Lyme disease. The highly unusual case presentation was published ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.