Study: Drugs needed for nursing home residents at risk of bone fractures

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More appropriate use of osteoporosis medication is needed in the treatment of nursing home residents with a high risk of bone fractures, according to a recent report.

Among seniors who have been admitted to a nursing home as the result of a hip, wrist or other bone fracture, an average of only 11.5% are given osteoporosis medications to help recover bone strength. Researchers from Boston analyzed data from over 4,400 seniors admitted to nursing homes between 1995 and 2004. They found a sharp increase in use from 1995 to 2001, but noted that, after 2001, the rate of use leveled off.

Researchers said that, while rates of use clearly improved over the course of the study, nursing homes should consider these drug therapies more often among high-risk patients. The study can be found in the Archives of Internal Medicine.