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Proper screening after hip injury often avoided in older women

When older people break a hip, there are a host of causes that could have contributed to the break. For older women, one of those factors is osteoporosis. That is the reason why experts recommend certain tests be done on older women if they suffer from a broken hip. If the women get bone density testing done, it might be discovered that they do suffer from osteoporosis. At that point, the woman could start on medications that might help to prevent future breaks.

Many of the women who could benefit from the bone density test and the treatment that comes if the results show that they have osteoporosis aren't having the test done. In women who are over 50, only 17 percent are having these tests done within 6 months of a hip fracture. That means that many women are placed at risk of suffering a second break.

In women who are 80 or older, failing to get this testing and subsequent treatment within six months of the hip fracture were 62 times more likely to have another hip fracture than women of the same age group who had the testing and treatment. That is a horrible statistic because of the terrible health consequences of hip fractures in older women.

Older women aren't likely to be able to return to their previous level of independent living after a hip fracture. In fact, only 40 percent of older women with this type of injury can return to their previous independence. In the year after a hip fracture, 10 to 20 percent of older women will die.

Failing to get a proper diagnosis and begin treatment can be devastating. These women might opt to seek compensation to help them with the care they might need because of the inaction of the medical professionals.

Source: Long-Term Living, "Older women more vulnerable, less likely to be screened after broken hip," Nicole Stempak, July 19, 2016

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