Fractures Reduce Quality of Life

HAMILTON, Ontario, Aug. 4 (UPI) — Women suffering from fractures had significantly reduced quality of life, similar to or worse than that of diabetes or arthritis, a Canadian researcher said.

Researchers administered health surveys to nearly 60,000 post-menopausal women in 10 countries measuring five dimensions of health — mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain or discomfort and anxiety or depression.

Lead author Dr. Jonathan D. Adachi of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, says the survey data were used to compare the overall health status, physical function and vitality of participants, and assess health-related quality of life.

The study, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that spine, hip and upper leg fractures resulted in the greatest decrease in quality of life.

“Our study shows that the effects of fractures result in significant reductions in quality of life that are as lasting and as disabling as other chronic conditions,” Adachi said in a statement. “As important, the greater the number of fractures, the greater the disability.”

About 40 percent of women age 50 and older will suffer a fracture of the hip, spine and wrist. Such fractures often result in chronic pain, reduced mobility, loss of independence and — in the case of hip fracture — an increased risk of death, Adachi said.

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