Osteoporosis-related fragility fractures are an international public health problem responsible for increased mortality, functional impairment and added health care costs. Estimates are that between 40 and 50 percent of white women above the age of 50 in North America, Europe and Australia will incur an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. Although their rates are lower, non-white women and men are also susceptible. Because the likelihood of fragility fractures increases dramatically with age, fracture numbers are projected to rise as the population ages.

Factors associated with increased risk of osteoporotic fractures are well documented; a number of interventions have been shown to lower fracture risk. Strategies include modification of personal habits, mitigation of environmental risks and treatment with bone-active pharmacologic agents. Unfortunately, despite the ample evidence that fracture rates can be reduced, implementation of effective prevention practice lags. Data suggest that many individuals at substantial risk of osteoporotic fracture are not being identified and treated. When interventions are initiated, the necessary adherence is often difficult to maintain. The benefits evident in carefully controlled trials have not transferred to the everyday world of clinical practice.

Better understanding of ways in which practice patterns influence care of patients at risk for osteoporotic fragility fractures is required. How are health care providers identifying these individuals? What prevention options are being utilized? What factors predict treatment? Are patients following through with treatment plans? What factors enhance or impede adherence?

Goals and Objectives

An international study will collect, analyze and distribute “real world” data to address these questions. The goal of the study will be to improve care of patients who are at risk of osteoporosis-related fragility fractures. Specific objectives/activities will include:

  • detail the clinical and demographic characteristics of patients at risk of fracture at representative sites in Europe, North America and Australia
  • create profiles of patients based on known risk factors
  • document patterns of care including both provider and patient roles
  • feed data to back providers and patients
  • disseminate findings through publication in peer reviewed scientific journals
  • provide an international network for identifying, evaluating and sharing strategies for improving care of patients at risk of fracture