Fracture risks in elderly women hinge on many factors, study finds

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A history of fracture, bone weakness and depression are among the risk factors for bone fractures among post-menopausal women, researchers say.

A long-term study of more than 170,000 women, ages 50 to 99, who had no prior diagnosis of osteoporosis and no history of taking osteoporosis-specific medications, found that the strongest predictors of fracture in these women included a history of fracture after age 45. This information appeared in the U.S. National Osteoporosis Risk Assessment (NORA) study.

The NORA study also emphasized the need for caregivers to screen for depression because it is a common and serious problem that predicts risk for fractures, according to Dr. Ethel Siris, professor of clinical medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York, and lead investigator in the NORA study.