Preventing a Fall Can Prevent a Fracture

Bone fracture rates are on the rise in the United Kingdom, and care is unable to keep up with the trend

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 16:  Labour Party leader...

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (L) walks with Doctor Tom Coffey at The Brocklehurst Medical Centre in Wandsworth on May 16, 2011 in London, England. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

The Department of Health in the United Kingdom is calling for action to be taken to decrease falls that result in fracture to prevent huge increases in cost to National Health Services. a report from Age UK and the National Osteoporosis Society states that health care personnel should collaborate  with their local businesses, groups, and hospitals to improve prevention of falls. It states further that clinic and hospital admission from falls/fractures could increase from 89,000 annually (currently one of the EU’s highest) – to 140,000 annually unless preventive care solutions are found and implemented with additional costs estimated at £6billion a year by 2036.

Government officials state that many do not know they are at an increased fracture risk. Of 700 diagnosed osteoporotic patients surveyed by the National Osteoporosis Society:

  • 70% said that osteoporosis was not discussed by the health professional post fracture.
  • 8% had to bring up the subject before it was discussed.
  • 26% were diagnosed after suffering multiple fractures.
  • 35% had to wait more than a year after breaking a bone before diagnosis.
  • 22% waited for diagnosis of osteoporosis for more than 5 years.

Conclusion of the Report

The National Osteoporosis Society recommended several ways for improving this growing shortfall in the ability to treat this disease. The report recommends that physicians and medical professionals work with local businesses and organizations to build prevention programs. Preventing fractures, means preventing falls. Representatives from the Department of Health state that the UK Government is building financial incentives to drive the UK healthcare industry to a more integrated care approach. This means, both understanding of the disease with physicians and medical professionals, as well as working alongside therapists who are guiding patients through exercise interventions to reverse the effects of loss in bone mass density.

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