Association between incident falls and subsequent fractures in patients attending the fracture liaison service after an index fracture: a 3-year prospective observational cohort study.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMJ Open, 2022, 12, (7), pp. e058983
Issue Date:
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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the risk of subsequent fractures in patients who attended the Fracture Liaison Service (FLS), with and without incident falls after the index fracture. DESIGN: A 3-year prospective observational cohort study. SETTING: An outpatient FLS in the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged 50+ years with a recent clinical fracture. OUTCOME MEASURES: Incident falls and subsequent fractures. RESULTS: The study included 488 patients (71.9% women, mean age: 64.6±8.6 years). During the 3-year follow-up, 959 falls had been ascertained in 296 patients (60.7%) (ie, fallers), and 60 subsequent fractures were ascertained in 53 patients (10.9%). Of the fractures, 47 (78.3%) were fall related, of which 25 (53.2%) were sustained at the first fall incident at a median of 34 weeks. An incident fall was associated with an approximately 9-fold (HR: 8.6, 95% CI 3.1 to 23.8) increase in the risk of subsequent fractures. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that subsequent fractures among patients on treatment prescribed in an FLS setting are common, and that an incident fall is a strong predictor of subsequent fracture risk. Immediate attention for fall risk could be beneficial in an FLS model of care. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NL45707.072.13.
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