Minor bone fractures in seniors serious business

By • Published: April 24th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Many people view bone fractures in senior citizens as normal occurrences. But research in Australia shows that while they may be common, even minor bone fractures are serious business for people age sixty years and older.

Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association report that seniors who suffered a break were at a greater risk of dying in the next five years than those who did not. Those who fractured a hip were at a higher risk for the next ten years.

The researchers also found the risk of death increased more in men with hip fractures than in women… men’s risk of death was three times greater after a hip fracture, while women’s was only two times greater.

However, women seemed to suffer more fractures to begin with. Almost seventy-four percent of participants who experienced a fracture were women.

Depending on the type of break, the risk of death returned to normal after five or ten years had passed.

Osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones in old age, is most common in women after they undergo menopause and causes bones to break more easily. More than two million bone fractures in 2005 were the result of osteoporosis, according to scientists at the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

One way to prevent your bones from breaking during normal aging is to make sure your diet always includes plenty of calcium and Vitamin D.

And it’s important to start young. Good nutrition is a habit for a lifetime.