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Link Between Fractures & Osteoporosis

By: iVision Health & Well-Being Staff Writer

New survey* findings show many women and physicians may be lacking in their knowledge about the critical link between fractures and osteoporosis. The survey also measured women's awareness of endocrinologists and physician referrals to these specialists for management of osteoporosis. Following are highlights of each survey.

A national poll of 404 women age 50 and older revealed:

Nearly half of women don't know low-trauma fractures could be a sign of osteoporosis

Approximately 21 percent of women at risk for osteoporosis do not know it is a disease that causes weak and fragile bones

Forty-eight percent of women said their doctor hasn't talked to them at all about osteoporosis, or fractures and osteoporosis risk

Eighty-three percent do not know endocrinologists are osteoporosis experts

Nearly 60 percent do not know what an endocrinologist does

A national survey of 100 family physicians (80 male, 20 female) uncovered the following:

Ninety-seven percent consider themselves knowledgeable about osteoporosis

Just 38 percent always tell patients age 50 and older that low-trauma fractures could be a sign of osteoporosis

Only 35 percent report referring patients to endocrinologists as their usual approach

Sixty-three percent don't refer patients to endocrinologists because they feel they can provide the best treatment themselves

Twenty percent don't refer patients to manage treatment costs

Female physicians appear to be more aggressive in osteoporosis management: they were more likely than male doctors (70 percent vs. 53 percent) to test patients of certain ages/risk groups for osteoporosis, and more likely to report telling their patients about fractures and osteoporosis risk (85 percent vs. 74 percent)

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