Wrist fractures lead to greater functional decline among elderly, research shows

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Older women who experience a wrist fracture tend to develop more disabilities, according to new research.

Wrist fracture is the most common upper-extremity injury sustained by elderly individuals, according to the new report from researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago. Of the 6,107 older women followed sampled for the report, 268 experienced a wrist fracture during the 7.6-year study period. Over that time, women with a wrist fracture were 50% more likely to experience functional decline than women without a wrist fracture.

Wrist fractures are as clinically significant for older individuals as arthritis, diabetes or falls, according to report author Dr. Beatrice Edwards. Osteoporosis outreach efforts should include information about preventing wrist fractures, she suggests. The report was published online July 9 in BMJ.

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