Stroke Can Increase Risk of Hip or Femur Fracture

Fracture risk heightened in recent stroke patients, females, and those under 71 years
By Lisa Cockrell, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stroke are twice as likely to experience a hip or femur fracture, a risk that is greatest in patients who are under 71 years of age, female, and who recently had a stroke, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in Stroke.

Sander Pouwels, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a population-based case-control study which matched 6763 hip or femur fracture patients with controls. Patients were matched by age, sex and region. The index date was defined as the date of hospital admission for the first hip or femur fracture.

The investigators found that the risk of hip or femur fracture was 1.96-fold higher in patients who had previously experienced a stroke compared with those who had not. This risk was highest among those patients who had a stroke within three months prior to the index date (3.35-fold), who were female (2.12-fold), and who were less than 71 years old (5.12-fold). The risk of fracture was slightly higher among patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke compared with an ischemic stroke, although this difference did not reach statistical significance.

"Our findings imply that it is important to conduct fracture risk assessment immediately after a patient is hospitalized for a stroke," the authors write. "Fall prevention programs, bone mineral density measurements, and use of bisphosphonates may be necessary to minimize hip fractures in the elderly during and after stroke rehabilitation."

Several of the study authors reported employment relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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