Osteoporosis patients 'not always getting the treatment they need'

27 June 2016

The progress made in treating osteoporosis over the last 30 years is under threat due to the fact that many patients are not getting the treatment they need.

This is according to a new paper from bone health experts from the Mayo Clinic and Columbia University, which was published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and suggests a "crisis" is emerging in the treatment of osteoporosis.

According to their evidence, many high-risk patients are not getting appropriate therapy, despite research showing the effectiveness of several osteoporosis drugs in preventing fractures.

Looking at US data, it was shown that 65 per cent of people aged 65 or older have osteoporosis or low bone mass and are at a high risk of fracture, with the prevalence of the disease set to rise as the population ages.

Despite this, only 25 per cent of patients who suffer a fracture are treated, while hip fracture patients' use of osteoporosis medications following a break decreased from 15 per cent to three per cent between 2004 and 2013.

The authors said: "Despite the development of several effective drugs to prevent fractures, many patients, even those who unequivocally need treatment, are either not being prescribed osteoporosis medications at all, or when prescribed, refuse to take them."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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