Leading bone health organizations highlight the importance of secondary fracture prevention

©Gilberto Lontro/IOF
©Gilberto Lontro/IOF
©Gilberto Lontro/IOF
©Gilberto Lontro/IOF
The global burden of osteoporosis and broken bones affects 200 million people worldwide and costs more than 45 billion USD. Are fracture liaison services the solution?

Today, spokespersons from the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF); National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF); National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA); and the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) hosted a joint press event during the ASBMR 2014 Annual Meeting in Houston. Together, they called on health authorities to take urgent action to reduce the global burden of osteoporosis-related fractures in the world’s older population.

As well as sharing new global and US statistics about the burden of osteoporosis and fractures, the expert speakers at the event outlined the latest findings and key programmes related to secondary fracture prevention. One of the most noteworthy new initiatives presented at the event is Capture the Fracture ®, a a multi-stakeholder initiative led by IOF which aims to promote implementation and best practice in coordinator-based fracture liaison services (FLS).

Some key facts presented:

  • Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. Globally, 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men
  • Once a person fractures, the likelihood of a further (secondary) fracture more than doubles. Nevertheless, the vast majority are neither assessed nor treated for osteoporosis, the underlying cause of the fracture.
  • Globally there is a large care gap that is leaving millions of fracture patients at serious risk of future fractures.
  • It is vital that the high-risk patients aged 50 and over who present at the hospital with a broken bone are routinely assessed for osteoporosis and offered treatment to prevent secondary fractures.
  • Coordinator-based FLS have been shown to be the most effective method of reducing the care gap. Once implemented FLS serve to channel fracture patients through appropriate post-fracture testing and treatment pathways.
  • New FLS programmes are being tested in the U.S. and globally. If implemented widely, these programmes will play an essential role in preventing secondary fractures in the population and therefore reducing the physical and financial burden of the disease.

IOF CEO Judy Stenmark stated,

Coordinator-based fracture liaison services have been proven to be the most effective method to routinely ‘capture’ high-risk patients who have already fractured. These services ensure that fracture patients receive appropriate treatment and post-fracture care in order to reduce their likelihood of suffering further debilitating fractures.”

The Capture the Fracture initiative aims to drive change so that secondary fracture prevention becomes a reality in healthcare systems around the world. The initiative illustrates global best practice for FLS; sets benchmarks to which clinics and hospitals can aspire; provides essential resources and documentation; and gives international recognition to FLS programmes around the world. FLS programmes are invited to participate by submitting their FLS details to the Capture the Fracture ‘Map of  Best Practice’. Upon request, the FLS is evaluated and awarded a Certificate of Recognition, To date, the Capture the Fracture Steering Committee has awarded 43 Certificates of Recognition to those FLS that have been evaluated according to the Capture the Fracture Best Practice Framework (a set of 13 guidelines for best practice). Thirty more FLS services are currently under review. 

Capture the Fracture - 2014 update