Had a Wrist Fracture? Over 50? Get Tested for Osteoporosis

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On World Osteoporosis Day the IOF warns that fragility fractures in adults should trigger testing for osteoporosis

"A wrist fracture is a warning sign," says Professor John A. Kanis, president of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF). "We urge all adults aged 50 and over who have suffered a wrist or other fragility fracture, to get tested for osteoporosis."

Osteoporosis is a chronic 'silent' disease that causes bones to weaken and become more fragile and breakable. At age 50, up to one in two women and one in five men will go on to suffer a fragility fracture in their lifetimes. Fractures can result in pain, disability, loss of quality of life and independence, or even early death.

Consider these facts:

  • A first fracture doubles the risk for future fractures.
  • One in four women who suffer a vertebral (spinal) fracture will experience another fracture within one year.
  • 50% of all hip fractures come from 16% of the postmenopausal women with a history of fracture, including wrist fractures.

Despite the fact that a first fracture is a clear warning sign, only two in ten patients with initial bone breaks get a follow-up test for osteoporosis or falls risk.

"We urge individuals over 50 who have suffered any kind of fragility fracture to insist on testing and, if indicated, treatment for osteoporosis," said Kanis. "This is the best way to reduce the risk of a cascade of future fractures."