Older Women Should Evaluate Kidney Function if They Determine The Risk of Hip Fracture

Older Women Should Evaluate Kidney Function if They Determine The Risk of Hip Fr

"More than 300, 000 people in the United States over age 65 will fracture a hip this year, says Jay S. Magaziner, Ph.D., professor and director of the division of gerontology, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Of this group, up to 33 percent will die within one year of their fractures, and more than half of others who survive will experience reduced mobility and have problems functioning independently."


You can break your hip at any age, but most hospitalizations for hip fractures are for people older than age 65. As you age, your bones become less dense as they slowly lose minerals. Gradual loss of density weakens bones and makes them more susceptible to a hip fracture.

This study, part of the Baltimore Hip Studies Program, was conducted to find ways to improve the outcome for this group of patients. Through observation and interviews, researchers attempted to identify factors that directly impacted how well these patients recovered.

A hip fracture is actually a fracture of the neck of the femur (thighbone). The fracture occurs at the upper end of the femur where it meets the pelvic bone. It is a common fracture in people with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become thin after middle age. Many subtypes of fractures about the hip joint are colloquially known as 'hip fractures'. Although a true hip fracture involves the joint, the following four proximal femur fractures are commonly referred to as 'hip fractures'. The differences between them are important because each is treated differently

Most hip fractures occur in women after menopause. About 15% of all women have a hip fracture during their lifetimes.
Hip fractures usually result from a fall. Because osteoporosis weakens the bones and makes them much more likely to break, hip fractures occur more often as men and women get older. One in four women have osteoporosis by the age of 60. By the age of 75, half of all men and women have it. In addition to osteoporosis, cancer, kidney disease, and some other diseases may make the bones weaker and more prone to breaking.

Osteoporosis is one of the major risk factors for hip fracture. In osteoporosis, the structure of your bones becomes weaker because your bones don't contain as much calcium and other minerals. A weaker structure makes your bones more prone to a fracture, even with relatively minor trauma. Loss of bone strength tends to be greatest in your spine, lower forearms and upper thighbones (femurs), the site of hip fractures.

Elderly women with moderate kidney dysfunction are considerably more likely to experience hip fracture than those without impaired kidneys, researchers report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

If these findings are confirmed by other studies, Dr. Kristine E. Ensrud told Reuters Health, doctors should evaluate kidney function when they determine the risk of hip fracture in older women.

Ensrud of the VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, and colleagues note in their paper that an increased rate of hip fractures has been reported in patients with end-stage kidney disease, but the effect of less severe kidney disease on fracture risk is uncertain.

To investigate further, the researchers studied a group of community-based women 65 years or older who were taking part in an osteoporotic bone fracture study.

The team compared kidney function in 149 women who had hip fractures and 150 women who had vertebral fractures with that of 396 randomly selected women without broken bones.

Mildly and moderately impaired kidney function increased the risk of hip fracture by more than 50 percent and more than 100 percent, respectively. However, kidney function did not have an effect on vertebral fractures.

The most common causes of CKD are high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. CKD can lead to kidney failure, but early treatment can slow or prevent this. Chronic kidney disease can also be caused by infections or urinary blockages.The blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test is a test of how well your kidneys are working. It measures the amount of nitrogen in your blood. The nitrogen is present in a chemical called urea. Urea is a waste product produced as your body digests protein. Urea is carried by the blood to the kidneys, which filter the urea out of the blood and into the urine.

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