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Osteoporosis and fragility fractures: risk assessment, management and prevention

Walker J1.

Nurs Older People. 2019 Dec 19. doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1153. [Epub ahead of print]




Osteoporosis is a chronic skeletal condition characterised by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of the bones that disproportionately affects older people. Older people with osteoporosis are at increased risk of sustaining fragility fractures, and this risk is compounded by factors such as falls and frailty. Fragility fractures can have several physical and psychological effects, potentially affecting an older person’s quality of life and reducing their life expectancy. Therefore, it is important that nurses can identify individuals at risk of osteoporosis and recognise the factors that may predict fragility fractures. This article outlines the main risk factors for osteoporosis and details the assessment and management of patients with this condition. It also explains the pharmacological interventions and lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of fragility fractures in older people with osteoporosis.