The following article is part of The Clinical Advisor’s coverage from the 2018 American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ annual meeting in Denver. Our staff will be reporting live on original research, case studies, and professional outreach and advocacy news from leading NPs in various therapeutic areas. Check back for ongoing updates from AANP 2018. 

DENVER — Postmenopausal women have little awareness of osteoporotic fracture risk and poor understanding that a fragility fracture may be indicative of osteoporosis and that it increases future fracture risk, according to research presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 National Conference.

E. Michael Lewiecki, MD, from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, and associates conducted an online survey of US postmenopausal women ≥50 years of age to assess their perception of osteoporotic fracture risk. The Harris Poll survey was conducted in collaboration with the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and HealthyWomen between March 31 and April 17, 2017.

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A total of 1012 women were included in the study. Approximately 50% of survey participants (501) reported receiving a diagnosis of osteoporosis from their physician, half of whom (250) were ≥65 years of age. Comorbidities reported most frequently included hypertension, thyroid disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. Fragility fracture was reported in 56% of women with a diagnosis of osteoporosis compared with 20% of women without osteoporosis.

Most of the women who sustained a fracture received initial care either at an emergency department or by a primary care physician.

Most women with a first fracture (96%) did not recall being told by their physician that the fracture might be related to osteoporosis. Approximately one-third of women reported not being referred for a follow-up visit after being diagnosed with a fragility fracture. More than half (55%) of survey participants disagreed that a first fracture may be prognostic of subsequent fractures.

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“Nurse practitioners provide a central role in patient education,” the authors stated. “More education is needed among postmenopausal women to recognize that a fracture is a sentinel event that requires further evaluation and interventions to reduce the risk of subsequent fractures.”

Disclosure:  S.A. Williams, C. Zapalowski, and R. Weiss are employees of Radius Health, Inc.

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Lewiecki EM, Williams SA, Zapalowski C, Weiss R. Challenges in osteoporosis awareness and management: results from a survey of US postmenopausal women. Presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2018 National Conference. June 26-29, 2018; Denver, CO. Industry Scientific Poster 5.