Stroke survivors should be screened and treated for osteoporosis

Results from the Ontario Stroke Registry suggest that recent stroke survivors are not always screened and treated for osteoporosis, which puts them at increased risk of fractures.

The study examined data from more than 16,000 stroke survivors aged 65 years and older who either had visited the emergency department or had been hospitalized for strokes between 2003 and 2013 in Ontario, Canada.

Only a very small number of patients (5.1%) overall were screened for osteoporosis. One year after their stroke, only 15.5% of them had been prescribed medications to prevent fractures.

Female sex, pre-stroke osteoporosis and post-stroke falls and fractures were associated with increased rates of osteoporosis pharmacotherapy.

Stroke survivors are at high risk of falls, which may lead to fractures. This risk is up to four times greater than in healthy people. Hence, they should undergo screening bone mineral density test to identify those at risk of fractures after stroke and then be treated to prevent bone loss and fractures.

(Source: Stroke, April 25, 2019)

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