Wrist Fracture a Major Setback for Most

CHICAGO, July 10 (UPI) — A wrist fracture may not sound like a major injury but it can have a major effect on functional decline in the elderly.

Dr. Beatrice Edwards of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago says functional decline due to wrist fracture was clinically as significant as other established risk factors such as falls, diabetes and arthritis.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found women with wrist fractures were about 50 percent more likely to experience clinically important functional decline compared to women without a wrist fracture — even after accounting for demographic, health and lifestyle factors.

“Our findings highlight the personal, public health and policy implications of wrist fractures,” the study authors say in a statement.

Edwards and colleagues tracked 6,107 healthy women — ages 65 and older, without prior wrist or hip fracture — on five activities of daily living every two years for almost eight years. The activities used as a measure of functional decline were meal preparation, heavy housekeeping, ability to climb 10 stairs, shopping and getting out of a car.

During the study period, 268 women had a wrist fracture.

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