Opening address: Professor Nancy Rothwell, University of Manchester.
MANCHESTER: As the Osteoporosis and Bone Conference 2012 gets under way, here’s a round up of the latest research and developments in the field of osteoporosis which will be presented over the next three days.
POOR BONE GROWTH IN EARLY YEARS INCREASES RISK OF HIP FRACTURE
Dr Nick Harvey, Consultant Rheumatologist of Southampton University, explains how poor early bone growth (in utero and infancy) is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in later life – mothers who are poorly nourished, smoke whilst pregnant, over-exercise and in particular, have low vitamin D levels in late pregnancy tend to have children with lower bone mass, which makes them more susceptible to osteoporosis, and broken bones, in later life.
INCREASED RISK OF STROKE, GASTROINTESTINAL BLEEDING AND THROMBOEMBOLISM FOLLOWING HIP RELACEMENT
Danish researchers studied more than 95,000 patients and identified a marked increase in the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding and stroke in the weeks following total hip replacement. The studies make recommendations that patients who have had a hip replacement should have risk assessments carried out to identify any risks of haemorrhagic stroke, GI bleeding or thromboembolism.
Vitamin D features heavily this year as Professor Bo Abrahamsen, from the University of Southern Denmark, considers calcium and vitamin D supplementation and recommends that patients’ individual needs and requirements as well as dietary intake of calcium, should be considered when prescribing supplementation.
Research published at conference reveals that healthcare professionals are not appropriately advising mothers and children on vitamin D supplementation, despite national guidelines. Another study questioned 16 to18 year old female students from varying ethnicities in Inner London and discovered a significant difference in sun exposure highlighting how groups requiring longer in the sun are not achieving adequate exposure and are therefore likely to be vitamin D deficient.
Clinicians in West Suffolk looked at vitamin D levels in hip fracture patients and discovered that almost of all them had abnormally low levels – they recommend that patients are given high dose supplementation for three consecutive days to boost their levels quickly and safely.
The National Osteoporosis Society has just published draft guidance on vitamin D, and is now inviting interested parties to comment on www.nos.org.uk/professionals
We also run the Sunlight Campaign to raise awareness of the importance of vitamin D and to remind people of all ages that sunlight is vital for healthy bones
FRACTURE RISK MUST BE CONSIDERED ALONGSIDE BONE DENSITY
Professor Stuart Ralston from the University of Edinburgh, clarifies the relationship between bone density and fracture risk and explains that although an 80 year old may have exactly the same bone mineral density (BMD) as a 60 year old, their risk of fracture is 5 times greater than their younger counterpart. He explains that age-related factors, that increase the risk of falling (such as poor balance or visual acuity), have a key role to play when determining fracture risk.
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE NON-DRUG TREATMENTS?
Professor Tahir Masud, from Nottingham University Trust NHS Hospitals, examines how the acute pain caused by vertebral fractures can be managed in a non-pharmacological way. He suggests that bed-rest should be as short as possible to minimise the problems linked with prolonged immobility and describes a recent study that has shown how patients who have had vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty have suffered fewer subsequent fractures.
HOW SUCCESSFUL ARE FRACTURE LIAISON SERVICES?
The role of Fracture Liaison Services is examined and their positive impact on fragility fractures is assessed: studies have shown that better communication, improvements in technology and joined-up working have resulted in increased progress in identifying and treating patients at risk of further fractures. An Ipswich study describes how other medical conditions were diagnosed as a result of assessments in a Fracture Liaison Service, whilst a study in Torbay reveals the major role that FLS could play in nursing and residential homes.
The conference runs until 4th July and is firmly established as the UK’s leading osteoporosis event, bringing together leading bone specialists to present the latest research.
This year, the National Osteoporosis Society is jointly hosting the Conference with the Bone Research Society and the Paget’s Association. It unifies clinical research with practice.
To access the abstracts, please contact Siobhan Hallmark – 07803 951184
For more information about the Osteoporosis Conference visit: www.nos.org.uk/conference
Notes to Editor
For more information about osteoporosis visit www.nos.org.uk or call the National Osteoporosis Society Press Officer, Siobhan Hallmark on 07803 951184 .
Notes to Editors
1. It is estimated that three million people in theUKhave osteoporosis.
2. In theUK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone, mainly because of osteoporosis.
3. Every year there are 300,000 fractures due to fragile bones, many of which could be prevented.
4. Every month, 1,150 people are dying prematurely as a result of hip fractures. The cost to the NHS is huge too, the combined cost of hospital and social care for patients with a hip fracture amounts to more than £2.3billion per year in theUK– that’s approximately £6 million a day