The association between multimorbidity and osteoporosis investigation and treatment in high-risk fracture patients in Australia: A prospective cohort study

Dana Bliuc, Thach Tran, Weiwen Chen, Dunia Alarkawi, Dima A. Alajlouni, Fiona Blyth, Lyn March, Kristine E. Ensrud, Robert D. Blank, Jacqueline R. Center

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background AU Multimorbidity: is common among fracture patients. However, : its association with osteoporosis investigation and treatment to prevent future fractures is unclear. This limited knowledge impedes optimal patient care. This study investigated the association between multimorbidity and osteoporosis investigation and treatment in persons at high risk following an osteoporotic fracture. Methods and findings The Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study is a prospective population-based cohort of 267,153 people in New South Wales, Australia, recruited between 2005 and 2009. This analysis followed up participants until 2017 for a median of 6 years (IQR: 4 to 8). Questionnaire data were linked to hospital admissions (Admitted Patients Data Collection (APDC)), emergency presentations (Emergency Department Data Collection (EDDC)), Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). Data were linked by the Centre for Health Record Linkage and stored in a secured computing environment. Fractures were identified from APDC and EDDC, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) from APDC, Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) investigation from MBS, and osteoporosis treatment from PBS. Out of 25,280 persons with index fracture, 10,540 were classified as high-risk based on 10-year Garvan Fracture Risk (age, sex, weight, prior fracture and falls) threshold 20%. The association of CCI with likelihood of investigation and treatment initiation was determined by logistic regression adjusted for education, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors). The high-risk females and males averaged 77 ± 10 and 86 ± 5 years, respectively; >40% had a CCI 2. Only 17% of females and 7% of males received a DXA referral, and 22% of females and 14% males received osteoporosis medication following fracture. A higher CCI was associated with a lower probability of being investigated [adjusted OR, females: 0.73 (95% CI, 0.61 to 0.87) and 0.43 (95% CI, 0.30 to 0.62); males: 0.47 (95% CI, 0.33 to 0.68) and 0.52 (0.31 to 0.85) for CCI: 2 to 3, and 4 versus 0 to 1, respectively] and of receiving osteoporosis medication [adjusted OR, females: 0.85 (95% CI, 0.74 to 0.98) and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.61 to 0.99); males: 0.75 (95% CI, 0.59 to 0.94) and 0.37 (95% CI, 0.23 to 0.53) for CCI: 2 to 3, and 4 versus 0 to 1, respectively]. The cohort is relatively healthy; therefore, the impact of multimorbidity on osteoporosis management may have been underestimated. Conclusions Multimorbidity contributed significantly to osteoporosis treatment gap. This suggests that fracture risk is either underestimated or underprioritized in the context of multimorbidity and highlights the need for extra vigilance and improved fracture care in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1004142
JournalPLoS Medicine
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2023 Bliuc et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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