ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Eat Light - Live Longer
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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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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