ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
CANCER
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
CAREGIVING
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
EYE CARE, VISION
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FITNESS
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Hoping for a Happy Family Holiday? Here's How
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Countdown to Hair Loss
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Any bone fracture that occurs in people over age 60 needs to be taken seriously, a new study concludes.

That's because the Australian researchers found the risk of dying goes up for at least five years following any low-trauma fracture, and for at least 10 years after a hip fracture.

"All low-trauma fractures are associated with premature mortality, not just hip fractures," said study senior author Dr. Jacqueline Center, an associate professor and senior research officer at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, in Sydney.

"Thus, all low-trauma fractures in the elderly need to be regarded as important events," she noted, adding, "Anti-osteoporosis treatment -- assuming a low bone density -- should be instituted following any low-trauma fracture to at least decrease the risk of a subsequent fracture, although we have yet to see whether it will decrease mortality."

Results of the study were published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Each year, more than one-third of Americans aged 65 and older will experience a fall, and nearly 16,000 of those people will die as a result of those falls, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Statistics for the new research came from a large study of 32,000 people living in Dubbo, Australia. Slightly more than 4,000 of the people were over age 60 at the start of the study, and were community-dwelling, which means they weren't in a hospital or residential care facility.

Between 1989 and 2007, 952 women and 343 men experienced low-trauma fractures. Some time after their fracture, 461 of the women and 197 of the men died.

The researchers found the risk of death increased more than twofold for women and more than threefold for men following a hip fracture. The risk of death after other major fractures increased by 65 percent for women and 70 percent for men. Even after minor fractures, such as a wrist fracture, the mortality risk increased by 42 percent in women and 33 percent in men, although this increase was only statistically significant for those over 75.

The increased risk of death persisted for five years for all fractures and up to 10 years after a hip fracture, the study found.

Increased age and a second fracture also increased the risk of death, as did lesser strength in the quadriceps -- the large thigh muscle.

Dr. David Markel, chief of orthopedics at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich., said he believes most fractures indicate other underlying problems.

"As people age, having a fall or other things that lead to fracture should be looked at as a cue that there are other health issues. It's important to not minimize osteoporotic fractures overall, and we should use these events as an indicator for health intervention and prevention," he said.

This study also confirms what a lot of other research says, Markel noted: "Continued physical activity and a healthy lifestyle is good for you as you age."

-Serena Gordon

More information

Learn more about who's at risk for falls and learn ways to prevent falls and fractures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Jacqueline Center, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., associate professor and senior research officer, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia; David Markel, M.D., chief, orthopedics, Providence Hospital, Southfield, Mich.; Feb. 4, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association

Last Updated: Feb. 03, 2009

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