An Analysis of Osteoporosis-Related Hip Fractures, Using Hospital Discharge Data




Rubin, Bernard


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The purpose of this study is to assess whether a current physician practice may inadequately diagnose osteoporosis in a high risk population of postmenopausal women who have sustained a hip fracture. A review of all patients discharged from Texas hospitals during calendar year 1999 was analyzed, using the Public Use Data File provided through the Texas Health Care Information Council. A total of 13,628 women over the age of 55 were admitted to hospital with a fractured hip. Only 2,233, or 16.3%, of women were also coded with the diagnosis of osteoporosis (P [less than] 0.001). Forty to fifty percent of postmenopausal women have osteoporosis. Therefore, women presenting with a fragility fracture form an even more at-risk subset of the population, such that one would expect a majority of these women to carry a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Percentages of Caucasian, non-Hispanic women in each group were comparable. The age distribution in each group was comparable, implying that the coded diagnosis of osteoporosis was not related to the age of the women when admitted to the hospital. In conclusion, physicians practicing in Texas during calendar year 1999 inadequately diagnosed osteoporosis in a high risk population of postmenopausal women who were admitted to hospital with fractured hip. Future analysis of subsequent analysis databases will be able to identify whether or not continuing medical education efforts will cause physicians to diagnose osteoporosis in this high risk population more frequently.