Do patients perceive a link between a fragility fracture and osteoporosis?
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BACKGROUND: To evaluate factors associated with whether patients associate their fracture with future fracture risk. METHODS: Fragility fracture patients participated in a telephone interview. Unadjusted odds ratios (OR, [95% CI]) were calculated to identify factors associated with whether patients associate their fracture with increased fracture risk or osteoporosis. Predictors identified in univariate analysis were entered into multivariable logistic regression models. RESULTS: 127 fragility fracture patients (82% female) participated in the study, mean (SD) age 67.5 (12.7) years. An osteoporosis diagnosis was reported in 56 (44%) participants, but only 17% thought their fracture was related to osteoporosis. Less than 50% perceived themselves at increased risk of fracture. The odds of an individual perceiving themselves at increased risk for fracture were higher for those that reported a diagnosis of osteoporosis (OR 22.91 [95%CI 7.45;70.44], p < 0.001), but the odds decreased with increasing age (0.95 [0.91;0.99], p<0.009). The only variable significantly associated with the perception that the fracture was related to osteoporosis was self-reported osteoporosis diagnosis (39.83 [8.15;194.71], p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Many fragility fracture patients do not associate their fracture with osteoporosis. It is crucial for physicians to communicate to patients that an osteoporosis diagnosis, increasing age or a fragility fracture increases the risk for future fracture.
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