'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
B Vitamins Might Lower Stroke Risk
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Eat Light - Live Longer
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Add your Article

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

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at