Ethnic disparities in care have been documented with a number of musculoskeletal disorders including osteoporosis. We suggest a systems approach for ensuring osteoporosis care can minimize potential ethnic disparities in care.
We evaluated variations in osteoporosis treatment by age, sex, and race/ethnicity by (1) measuring the rates of patients after a fragility fracture who had been evaluated by dual-energy xray absorptiometry and/or in whom antiosteoporosis treatment had been initiated and (2) determining the rates of osteoporosis treatment in patients who subsequently had a hip fracture.
Patients and Methods
We implemented an integrated osteoporosis prevention program in a large health plan. Continuous screening of electronic medical records identified patients who met the criteria for screening for osteoporosis, were diagnosed with osteoporosis, or sustained a fragility fracture. At-risk patients were referred to care managers and providers to complete practice guidelines to close care gaps. Race/ethnicity was self-reported. Treatment rates after fragility fracture or osteoporosis treatment failures with later hip fracture were calculated. Data for the years 2008 to 2009 were stratified by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
Women (92.1%) were treated more often than men (75.2%) after index fragility fracture. The treatment rate after fragility fracture was similar among race/ethnic groups in either sex (women 87.4%–93.4% and men 69.3%–76.7%). Osteoporotic treatment before hip fracture was more likely in white men and women and Hispanic men than other race/ethnic and gender groups.
Racial variation in osteoporosis care after fragility fracture in race/ethnic groups in this healthcare system was low when using the electronic medical record identifying care gaps, with continued reminders to osteoporosis disease management care managers and providers until those care gaps were closed.
The orthopedic community is in a unique position to initiate and provide osteoporosis care in fragility fracture patients to prevent future hip fractures in a high-risk population. The attitudes and intentions of Canadian orthopedic surgeons in the domain of osteoporosis care are unknown. Our objective was to identify current attitudes and osteoporosis management practices and to determine their overall willingness to participate in osteoporosis care for fragility fracture patients.
A real-time interactive polling session was conducted at the 58th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association.
Of the orthopedic surgeons who responded, 90.4% agreed that the current emphasis on osteoporosis in orthopedic practice is appropriate; 85.2% of surgeons indicated that they currently refer or personally investigate for osteoporosis, or both, in fragility fracture patients.
Most of the Canadian orthopedic surgeons sampled consider themselves to be currently engaged or ready to engage in osteoporosis care for fragility fracture patients. Focus should now shift from education and persuasion to program support through provision of resources and system modification that will enable Canadian orthopedic surgeons to effectively manage osteoporosis in their fracture patients.
Osteoporosis, the underlying cause of most hip fractures, is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The 2008 Joint Commission report Improving and Measuring Osteoporosis Management showed only an average of 20% of patients with low-impact fracture are ever tested or treated for osteoporosis. We developed an integrated model utilizing hospitalists and orthopaedic surgeons to improve care of osteoporosis in patients with hip fracture.
Does our integrated model combining hospitalists and orthopaedic surgeons improve the frequency of evaluation for osteoporosis, screening for secondary causes, and patients’ education on osteoporosis?
Patients and Methods
Our Hospitalist-Orthopaedic Surgeon Integrated Model of Care was implemented in September 2009. We compared the rate of evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis in 140 patients admitted with fragility hip fracture at our institution before (70 patients) and after (70 patients) implementation of the care plan.
Evaluation of patients for osteoporosis was higher in the postimplementation group compared to the preimplementation group (89% versus 24%). Screening of patients for secondary causes of osteoporosis was also improved in the postimplementation group (89% versus 0%), as was the proportion of patients who received education for osteoporosis management (89% versus 0%).
Our model of integrated care by hospitalists and orthopaedic surgeons resulted in improvement in the evaluation for osteoporosis, screening for secondary causes of osteoporosis, and education on osteoporosis management in patients with hip fracture at our institution. This may have important implications for treatment of these patients.
Level of Evidence
Level III, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Osteoporosis remains underrecognized and undertreated in both men and women, but men who sustain fragility fractures experience greater morbidity and mortality. While men exhibit advanced comorbidity at the time of hip fracture presentation, there are distinct sex- and gender-specific factors related to the pathophysiology and treatment of osteoporosis that further influence morbidity and mortality.
With a selective review of the literature, we evaluated sex- and gender-based differences contributing to increased morbidity and mortality in men with osteoporosis.
Where are we now?
Sex-specific differences in bone biology and morphology may affect the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, choice of pharmacotherapy, and surgical implant selection. Additionally, estrogen metabolism may play a key role in both fracture prevention and healing. Gender-based differences in recommendations for screening and prevention between men and women may influence the severity at which osteoporosis is recognized. Primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention efforts in men lag behind those of women. This may be due to a lack of consensus regarding screening guidelines for osteoporosis in men but may be attributed to lack of awareness in the physician and patient about osteoporosis and its potentially debilitating consequences.
Where do we need to go?
These disparities are a call to action for healthcare providers to raise awareness for early prevention and treatment of this potentially debilitating disease, particularly in men.
How do we get there?
Continued prospective research on the differences between men and women diagnosed with osteoporosis is needed, as well as sex-specific stratification of data in all studies on osteoporosis.
Although the health status of all Americans has improved substantially in the past century, gender and ethnic disparities still persist. Gender and ethnic disparities in diabetic foot management and amputations are an important but largely ignored issue in musculoskeletal health care.
Our purposes were to (1) clarify where we are now, (2) describe ways to get where we need to go, and (3) suggest solutions for how we get there, with respect to gender and ethnic disparities in diabetic foot management and amputations.
Where are we now?
Studies investigating socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and biologic contributing factors on gender and ethnic musculoskeletal healthcare disparities have found no single root cause. Studies into disparities in diabetic foot management and amputation have discordant methodologies and most are retrospective. Effective intervention strategies to eliminate these disparities are nonexistent.
Where do we need to go?
The orthopaedic leadership should lead the movement to create a clearly defined strategy and assist young investigators to gain access to large datasets to study this problem. Orthopaedic specialty society leaders should help to create valid outcome tools, especially on peripheral vascular disease and amputations.
How do we get there?
The working group proposed a three-pronged strategy of education, research, and advocacy to help address this problem.
Racial and socioeconomic disparities have been identified in osteoporosis screening.
To determine whether racial and socioeconomic disparities in osteoporosis screening diminish after hip fracture.
Retrospective cohort study of female Medicare patients.
Entire states of Illinois, New York, and Florida.
Female Medicare recipients aged 65–89 years old with hip fractures between January 2001 and June 2003.
Differences in bone density testing by race/ethnicity and zip-code level socioeconomic characteristics during the 2-year period preceding and the 6-month period following a hip fracture.
Among all 35,681 women with hip fractures, 20.7% underwent bone mineral density testing in the 2 years prior to fracture and another 6.2% underwent testing in the 6 months after fracture. In a logistic regression model adjusted for age, state, and comorbidity, women of black race were about half as likely (RR 0.52 [0.43, 0.62]) and Hispanic women about 2/3 as likely (RR 0.66 [0.54, 0.80]) as white women to undergo testing before their fracture. They remained less likely (RR 0.66 [0.50, 0.88] and 0.58 [0.39, 0.87], respectively) to undergo testing after fracture. In contrast, women residing in zip codes in the lowest tertile of income and education were less likely than those in higher-income and educational tertiles to undergo testing before fracture, but were no less likely to undergo testing in the 6 months after fracture.
Racial, but not socioeconomic, differences in osteoporosis evaluation continued to occur even after Medicare patients had demonstrated their propensity to fracture. Future interventions may need to target racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities differently.
disparities; osteoporosis screening; hip fracture
Despite awareness of inequities in health care quality, little is known about strategies that could improve the quality of healthcare for ethnic minority populations. We conducted a systematic literature review and analysis to synthesize the findings of controlled studies evaluating interventions targeted at health care providers to improve health care quality or reduce disparities in care for racial/ethnic minorities.
We performed electronic and hand searches from 1980 through June 2003 to identify randomized controlled trials or concurrent controlled trials. Reviewers abstracted data from studies to determine study characteristics, results, and quality. We graded the strength of the evidence as excellent, good, fair or poor using predetermined criteria. The main outcome measures were evidence of effectiveness and cost of strategies to improve health care quality or reduce disparities in care for racial/ethnic minorities.
Twenty-seven studies met criteria for review. Almost all (n = 26) took place in the primary care setting, and most (n = 19) focused on improving provision of preventive services. Only two studies were designed specifically to meet the needs of racial/ethnic minority patients. All 10 studies that used a provider reminder system for provision of standardized services (mostly preventive) reported favorable outcomes. The following quality improvement strategies demonstrated favorable results but were used in a small number of studies: bypassing the physician to offer preventive services directly to patients (2 of 2 studies favorable), provider education alone (2 of 2 studies favorable), use of a structured questionnaire to assess adolescent health behaviors (1 of 1 study favorable), and use of remote simultaneous translation (1 of 1 study favorable). Interventions employing more than one main strategy were used in 9 studies with inconsistent results. There were limited data on the costs of these strategies, as only one study reported cost data.
There are several promising strategies that may improve health care quality for racial/ethnic minorities, but a lack of studies specifically targeting disease areas and processes of care for which disparities have been previously documented. Further research and funding is needed to evaluate strategies designed to reduce disparities in health care quality for racial/ethnic minorities.
Many patients who have undiagnosed osteoporosis and a recent fragility fracture present to fracture clinics in Canadian hospitals, where the focus of management is on fracture care. The rate of diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in this patient group is unknown.
Patients who presented with fractures at sites consistent with fragility-type fractures were identified through a retrospective chart review of fracture clinic visits in 3 Ontario community hospitals in selected weeks in February and November 1996 and August and May 1997. These patients were contacted by mail and telephone follow-up to obtain consent to participate in a telephone interview. Patients were excluded if the index fracture had been traumatic, if they were younger than 18 years, or if they had medical conditions known to be associated with secondary bone loss. Eligible patients were questioned about their history of prior fractures, diagnosis of osteoporosis, and investigation and treatment of osteoporosis before or after the index fracture.
Among 2694 fracture clinic visits, we identified 228 patients (8.4%) with fragility-type fractures. Of the 228, 128 (56.1%) were contacted and agreed to participate in an interview about 1 year from the date of the index fracture. Of the 128 patients, 108 (83 postmenopausal and 13 premenopausal women and 12 men) were confirmed as eligible. Of the 108, 43 had experienced 53 fractures in addition to the index fracture in the preceding 10 years, of which 71% were of the fragility type. At interview, only 20 (18.5%) (all postmenopausal women) of the 108 patients reported that they had received a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Of the 20, 90% and 45% respectively had been advised to take calcium and vitamin D supplements; 8 (40%) were receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and 8 (40%) were taking bisphosphonates. Of the 88 patients who had not received a diagnosis of osteoporosis, 4 (4.5%) were receiving HRT, none was taking bisphosphonates, and less than 20% had been advised to take supplemental calcium or vitamin D.
In a representative sample of patients at urban fracture clinics, less than 20% who presented with a fragility-type fracture had undergone investigatation and adequate treatment of osteoporosis at 1-year follow-up. Since previous fracture significantly increases the risk for future fracture, this clearly is a deficiency in management. Through improved identification and treatment of patients with osteoporosis-related fractures who present to fracture clinics, there is a significant opportunity to reduce the rates of illness and death associated with this conditio
A large number of factors contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in health status. Health care professionals, researchers, and policymakers have believed for some time that access to care is the centerpiece in the elimination of these health disparities. The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) model of access to health services includes personal, financial, and structural barriers, health service utilization, and mediators of care. This model can be used to describe the interactions among these factors and their impact on health outcomes and equity of services among racial and ethnic groups. We present a modified version of the IOM model that incorporates the features of other access models and highlights barriers and mediators that are relevant for interventions designed to eliminate disparities in U.S. health care. We also suggest that interventions to eliminate disparities and achieve equity in health care services be considered within the broader context of improving quality of care. Some health service intervention studies have shown improvements in the health of disadvantaged groups. If properly designed and implemented, these interventions could be used to reduce health disparities. Successful features of interventions include the use of multifaceted, intense approaches, culturally and linguistically appropriate methods, improved access to care, tailoring, the establishment of partnerships with stakeholders, and community involvement. However, in order to be effective in reducing disparities in health care and health status, important limitations of previous studies need to be addressed, including the lack of control groups, nonrandom assignment of subjects to experimental interventions, and use of health outcome measures that are not validated. Interventions might be improved by targeting high-risk populations, focusing on the most important contributing factors, including measures of appropriateness and quality of care and health outcomes, and prioritizing dissemination efforts.
disparities; race; ethnicity; interventions; health care quality; cultural competance
This article examines strategies and methodologic issues for researchers to consider when conducting community-based research within a racial/ethnic minority community. Members of minority communities have considerable skepticism about the health care system and researchers who work under its auspices. To facilitate quality research, it is necessary to build a mutually beneficial partnership between the community and researchers. Suggested strategies for accomplishing this goal, such as seeking out information on the social and political forces shaping the community and developing the community's capacity to undertake research of this type, are described. Methodologic issues include the importance of community input in defining the minority population group and its leadership, the benefits and limitations of conducting comparative analysis, and the need for measurement tools and techniques that are culturally and socially appropriate. Minority and nonminority researchers must make a concerted effort to gain knowledge of and respect for a community whose culture, values, and beliefs may differ from their own.
The health care quality chasm is better described as a gulf for certain segments of the population, such as racial and ethnic minority groups, given the gap between actual care received and ideal or best care quality. The landmark Institute of Medicine report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century challenges all health care organizations to pursue six major aims of health care improvement: safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and patient-centeredness. “Equity” aims to ensure that quality care is available to all and that the quality of care provided does not differ by race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics unrelated to a patient's reason for seeking care. Baylor Health Care System is in the unique position of being able to examine the current state of equity in a typical health care delivery system and to lead the way in health equity research. Its organizational vision, “culture of quality,” and involved leadership bode well for achieving equitable best care. However, inequities in access, use, and outcomes of health care must be scrutinized; the moral, ethical, and economic issues they raise and the critical injustice they create must be remedied if this goal is to be achieved. Eliminating any observed inequities in health care must be synergistically integrated with quality improvement. Quality performance indicators currently collected and evaluated indicate that Baylor Health Care System often performs better than the national average. However, there are significant variations in care by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status that indicate the many remaining challenges in achieving “best care” for all.
Osteoporosis is generally thought of as a “woman’s disease” because the prevalence of osteoporosis and the rate of fractures are much higher in postmenopausal women than in older men. However, the absolute number of men affected by osteoporosis and fractures is large, as at least 2.8 million men in the United States are thought to have osteoporosis.
The purposes of this review are to (1) highlight gender differences in osteoporosis and fracture risk, (2) describe disparities in treatment and outcomes after fractures between men and women, and (3) propose solutions to reducing disparities in treatment and prevention.
A literature survey was conducted using MEDLINE with a variety of search terms and using references from the author’s personal collection of articles. A formal search strategy and exclusion criteria were not employed and the review is therefore selective.
Where are we now?
Postmenopausal women have a higher prevalence of osteoporosis and greater incidence of fracture than older men. Despite the higher fracture risk in postmenopausal women, older men tend to have worse outcomes after fracture and poorer treatment rates, although less is known about the disease course in men. Multifaceted interventions to improve the screening and treatment for osteoporosis were recently developed.
Where do we need to go?
Improvement in treatment rates of those at risk, regardless of gender, is an important goal in osteoporosis management.
How do we get there?
Further development and evaluation of cost-effective, multifaceted interventions for screening and treatment of osteoporosis and fractures are needed; such interventions will likely improve the primary prevention of fractures.
The purpose of this review is the presentation of the proper orthopaedic treatment of the most frequent fragility fractures associated with low bone mineral density or established osteoporosis. In this particular group of patients, the surgical treatment is difficult for the poor quality of the broken bone that limits the reduction, the hardware fixation and the physiologic process of bone healing. Other important problems are the postoperative management of old patients with chronic diseases and more prone to develop local and general complications with big difficulties to conduct a good rehabilitation program.
Some considerations will be made, lastly, about the role of the orthopaedic surgeon on the treatment of osteoporosis and on the possibility to prevent further fractures.
osteoporosis; fracture; orthopaedic treatment; bone healing
Previous studies have consistently documented that racial/ethnic minority patients with diabetes receive lower quality of care, based on various measures of quality of care and care settings. However, 2 recent studies that used data from Medicare or Veterans Administration beneficiaries have shown improvements in racial/ethnic disparities in the quality of diabetes care. These inconsistencies suggest that additional investigation is needed to provide new information about the relationship between racial/ethnic minority patients and the quality of diabetes care.
We analyzed 3 years of data (2005-2007) from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and used multivariate models that adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, regional location, insurance status, health behaviors, health status, and comorbidity to examine racial/ethnic disparities in the quality of diabetes care.
We found that Asian patients with diabetes were less likely to have received 2 or more glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) tests or a foot examination during the past year compared with their white counterparts. Hispanic patients with diabetes were also less likely to have received a foot examination during the past year compared with white patients with diabetes. Conversely, black patients with diabetes were more likely to have received a foot examination during the past year compared with white patients with diabetes. The differences in the quality of diabetes care remained significant even after controlling for socioeconomic status (SES), health insurance status, self-rated health status, comorbid conditions, and lifestyle behavior variables.
Although the link between racial/ethnic minority status and the quality of care for patients with diabetes is not completely understood, our results suggest that factors such as SES, health insurance status, self-rated health status, and other health conditions are potential antecedents of quality of diabetes care.
Racial–ethnic minorities receive lower quality and intensity of health care compared with whites across a wide range of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic services and disease entities. These disparities in health care contribute to continuing racial–ethnic disparities in the burden of illness and death. Several national medical organizations and the Institute of Medicine have issued position papers and recommendations for the elimination of health care disparities. However, physicians in practice are often at a loss for how to translate these principles and recommendations into specific interventions in their own clinical practices. This paper serves as a blueprint for translating principles for the elimination of racial–ethnic disparities in health care into specific actions that are relevant for individual clinical practices. We describe what is known about reducing racial–ethnic disparities in clinical practice and make recommendations for how clinician leaders can apply this evidence to transform their own practices.
racial disparities; race; ethnicity; health care delivery; cultural competence; ethnic groups; continental population groups
Achieving health equity, driven by the elimination of health disparities, is a goal of Healthy People 2020. In recent decades, the improvement in health status has been remarkable for the U.S. population as a whole. However, racial and ethnic minority populations continue to lag behind whites with a quality of life diminished by illness from preventable chronic diseases and a life span cut short by premature death. We examine a conceptual framework of three generations of health disparities research to understand (a) data trends, (b) factors driving disparities, and (c) solutions for closing the gap. We propose a new, fourth generation of research grounded in public health critical race praxis, utilizing comprehensive interventions to address race, racism, and structural inequalities and advancing evaluation methods to foster our ability to eliminate disparities. This new generation demands that we address the researcher’s own biases as part of the research process.
health disparities; critical race theory; public health critical race praxis; racial and ethnic minorities; community engagement
Racial and ethnic minorities bear a disproportionate burden of the diabetes epidemic; they have higher prevalence rates, worse diabetes control, and higher rates of complications. This article reviews the effectiveness of health care interventions at improving health outcomes and/or reducing diabetes health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities with diabetes. Forty-two studies met inclusion criteria. On average, these health care interventions improved the quality of care for racial/ethnic minorities, improved health outcomes (such as diabetes control and reduced diabetes complications), and possibly reduced health disparities in quality of care. There is evidence supporting the use of interventions that target patients (primarily through culturally tailored programs), providers (especially through one-on-one feedback and education), and health systems (particularly with nurse case managers and nurse clinicians). More research is needed in the areas of racial/ethnic minorities other than African Americans and Latinos, health disparity reductions, long-term diabetes-related outcomes, and the sustainability of health care interventions over time.
diabetes; disparities; interventions; minorities
In its 2002 publication Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, the Institute of Medicine reported American racial and ethnic minorities receive lower-quality health care than white Americans. Because caregiver bias may contribute to disparate health care, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education have issued specific directives to address culturally competent care education.
We discuss the general approaches to culturally competent care education, the tools used in evaluating such endeavors, and the impact of such endeavors on caregivers and/or the outcomes of therapeutic interventions from three perspectives: (1) Where are we now? (2) Where do we need to go? (3) How do we get there?
We summarized information from (1) articles identified in a PubMed search of relevant terms and (2) the authors’ experience in delivering, evaluating, and promoting culturally competent care education.
Where are we now?
Considerable variation exists in approaches to culturally competent care education; specific guidelines and valid evaluation methods are lacking; and while existing education programs may promote changes in providers’ knowledge and attitudes, there is little empirical evidence that such efforts reduce indicators of disparate care.
Where do we need to go?
We must develop evidence-based educational strategies that produce changes in caregiver attitudes and behaviors and, ultimately, reduction in healthcare disparities.
How do we get there?
We must have ongoing dialog about, development in, and focused research on specific educational and evaluation methodologies, while simultaneously addressing the economic, political, practical, and social barriers to the delivery of culturally competent care education.
With an ever-increasing elderly population, orthopaedic surgeons are faced with treating a high number of fragility fractures. Biomechanical tests have demonstrated the potential role of osteoporosis in the increased risk of fracture fixation complications, yet this has not been sufficiently proven in clinical practice. Based on this knowledge, two clinical studies were designed to investigate the influence of local bone quality on the occurrence of complications in elderly patients with distal radius and proximal humerus fractures treated by open reduction and internal fixation.
The studies were planned using a prospective multicentre open cohort design and included patients between 50 and 90 years of age. Distal radius and proximal humerus fractures were treated with locking compression 2.4 mm and proximal humerus internal locking plates, respectively. Follow-up examinations were planned for 6 weeks, 3 and 12 months as well as a telephone interview at 6 months. The primary outcome focuses on the occurrence of at least one local bone quality related complication. Local bone quality is determined by measuring bone mineral density and bone mineral content at the contralateral radius. Primary complications are categorised according to predefined factors directly related to the bone/fracture or the implant/surgical technique. Secondary outcomes include the documentation of soft tissue/wound or general/systemic complications, clinical assessment of range of motion, and patient-rated evaluations of upper limb function and quality of life using both objective and subjective measures.
The prospective multicentre open cohort studies will determine the value of local bone quality as measured by bone mineral density and content, and compare the quality of local bone of patients who experience a complication (cases) following surgery with that of patients who do not (controls). These measurements are novel and objective alternatives to what is currently used.
Trial registration numbers
Clinical Trials.gov NCT01144208 and NCT01143675
Substantial pain prevalence is as high as 40% in community populations. There is consistent evidence that racial/ethnic minority individuals are overrepresented among those who experience such pain and whose pain management is inadequate.
The objectives of this paper are to (1) define parameters of and summarize evidence pertinent to racial/ethnic minority disparities in pain management, (2) identify factors contributing to observed disparities, and (3) identify strategies to minimize the disparities.
Scientific literature was selectively reviewed addressing pain epidemiology, differences in pain management of non-Hispanic whites versus racial/ethnic minority groups, and patient and physician factors contributing to such differences.
Racial/ethnic minorities consistently receive less adequate treatment for acute and chronic pain than non-Hispanic whites, even after controlling for age, gender, and pain intensity. Pain intensity underreporting appears to be a major contribution of minority individuals to pain management disparities. The major contribution by physicians to such disparities appears to reflect limited awareness of their own cultural beliefs and stereotypes regarding pain, minority individuals, and use of narcotic analgesics.
Racial/ethnic minority patients with pain need to be empowered to accurately report pain intensity levels, and physicians who treat such patients need to acknowledge their own belief systems regarding pain and develop strategies to overcome unconscious, but potentially harmful, negative stereotyping of minority patients.
Osteoporotic fractures are a major public health issue. The literature suggests there are variations in occurrence of fractures by ethnicity and race.
My purpose is to review current literature related to the influence of ethnicity and race on the (1) epidemiology of fracture; (2) prevalence of osteoporosis by bone mineral density; (3) consequences of osteoporotic hip fracture; (4) differences in risk fracture for fracture; and (5) disparities in screening, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis.
Current literature was selectively reviewed related to osteoporosis, ethnicity, and race.
Ethnicity and race, like sex, influence the epidemiology of fractures, with highest fracture rates in white women. Bone mineral density is higher in African Americans; however, these women are more likely to die after hip fracture, have longer hospital stays, and are less likely to be ambulatory at discharge. Consistent risk factors for fracture across ethnicity include older age, lower bone mineral density, previous history of fracture, and history of two or more falls. Ethnic and racial disparities exist in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis.
Across ethnic and racial groups, more women experience fractures than the combined number of women who experience breast cancer, myocardial infarction, and coronary death in 1 year. Prevention efforts should target all women, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, especially if they have multiple risk factors.
Patients belonging to racial and ethnic minority populations continue to receive lesser-quality healthcare relative to other patients, even when controlling for relevant demographic variables. Such disparities represent a significant challenge for physicians who are ethically committed to serving all patients equally, irrespective of personal characteristics. Accordingly, this report explores the ethical obligations of individual physicians and the medical profession as they pertain to racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. To address these disparities, the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs recommends that physicians customize the provision of medial care to meet the needs and preferences of individual patients. Moreover, physicians must learn to recognize racial and ethnic healthcare disparities and critically examine their own practices to ensure that inappropriate considerations do not affect clinical judgment. Physicians can also work to eliminate racial and ethnic healthcare disparities by encouraging diversity within the profession, continuing to investigate healthcare disparities, and supporting the development of appropriate quality measures.
Rapid growth of the elderly United States population will result in so many at risk of osteoporosis that economically efficient approaches to osteoporosis care warrant consideration.
A Markov-cohort model of annual United States age-specific incidence of clinical hip, spine, forearm, shoulder, rib, pelvis and lower leg fractures, costs (2005 US dollars), and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) was used to assess the cost-effectiveness of osteoporosis treatment ($600/yr drug cost for 5 years with 35% fracture reduction) by gender and race/ethnicity groups. To determine the 10-year hip fracture probability at which treatment became cost-effective, average annual age-specific probabilities for all fractures were multiplied by a relative risk (RR) that was systematically varied from 0 to 10 until a cost of $60,000 per QALY gained was observed for treatment relative to no intervention.
Osteoporosis treatment was cost-effective when the 10-year hip fracture probability reached approximately 3%. Although the RR at which treatment became cost-effective varied markedly between genders and by race/ethnicity, the absolute 10-year hip fracture probability at which intervention became cost-effective was similar across race/ethnicity groups, but tended to be slightly higher for men than for women.
Application of the WHO risk prediction algorithm to identify individuals with a 3% 10-year hip fracture probability may facilitate efficient osteoporosis treatment.
Cost-Effectiveness; National Osteoporosis Foundation; Osteoporosis; Practice guidelines; World Health Organization
There is a large quality of care gap for patients with osteoporosis. As a fragility fracture is a strong indicator of underlying osteoporosis, it offers an ideal opportunity to initiate investigation and treatment. However, studies of post-fracture populations document screening and treatment rates below 20% in most settings. This is despite the fact that bone mineral density (BMD) scans are effective at identifying patients at high risk of fracture, and effective drug treatments are widely available. Effective interventions are required to remedy this incongruity in current practice.
This study reviewed randomised controlled trials (RCT) involving fully qualified healthcare professionals caring for patients with a fragility fracture in all healthcare settings. Any intervention designed to modify the behaviour of healthcare professionals or implement a service delivery change was considered. The main outcomes were BMD scanning and osteoporosis treatment with anti-resorptive therapy. The electronic databases Medline and Embase were searched from 1994 to June 2010 to identify relevant articles in English. Post-intervention risk differences (RDs) were calculated for the main outcomes and any additional study primary outcomes; the trials were meta-analysed.
A total of 2814 potentially relevant articles were sifted; 18 were assessed in full text. Nine RCTs evaluating ten interventions met the inclusion criteria for the review. All were from North America. Four studies focused on patients with a hip fracture, three on fractures of the wrist/distal forearm, and two included several fracture sites consistent with a fragility fracture. All studies reported positive effects of the intervention for the main study outcomes of BMD scanning and osteoporosis treatment. For BMD scanning the overall risk ratio (95% CI) was 2.8 (2.16 to 3.64); the RD was 36% (21% to 50%). For treatment with anti-resorptive therapy the overall risk ratio (95% CI) was 2.48 (1.92 to 3.2); the RD was 20% (10% to 30%).
All interventions produced positive effects on BMD scanning and osteoporosis treatment rates post-fracture. Despite sizeable increases, investigation and treatment rates remain sub-optimal. Long-term compliance with osteoporosis medications needs to be addressed, as the majority of studies reported treatment rates at six-month follow up only. Studies would be more informative if treatment criteria were defined a priori to facilitate understanding of whether patients were being treated appropriately and integrated economic analyses would be helpful for informing policy implementation decisions.
Osteoporosis is a growing health concern as the number of senior adults continues to increase worldwide. Falls and fractures are very common among frail older adults requiring home health and long-term care. Preventative strategies for reducing falls have been identified and many therapies (both prescription and non-prescription) with proven efficacy for reducing fracture risk are available. However, many practitioners overlook the fact that a fragility fracture is diagnostic for osteoporosis even without knowledge of bone mineral density testing. As a result, osteoporosis is infrequently diagnosed and treated in the elderly after a fracture. Based on existing literature, we have developed an algorithm for the assessment and treatment of osteoporosis among persons with known prior fracture(s) living in long-term care facilities or receiving home health care.