Patients with vertebral fragility fractures treated in hospital – could we do better?

Terence Ong is a Research Fellow funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust at the Department for Healthcare of Older People, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. He discusses his Age and Ageing Paper Characteristics and outcomes of hospitalised patients with vertebral fragility fractures: a systematic review. He tweets @terenceongkk

Vertebral fragility fractures have received much attention lately due to growing research interest and increased awareness driven by high-profile osteoporosis groups such as the International Osteoporosis Foundation (through its vertebral fracture initiative) and the National Osteoporosis Society.

There is growing literature to support how well vertebral fragility fractures predicts future fractures, morbidity and risk of mortality. However, what has been lacking is research exploring the specific cohort of people with vertebral fractures who are admitted to hospital. Continue reading

New National Osteoporosis Guideline launched today – an opportunity for those aged 70 years or older?

Dr Celia Gregson is a Consultant Geriatrician in Bath and Consultant Senior Lecturer in Bristol. She is also a member of the National Osteoporosis Guideline Development Group. She tweets @celiagregson

The National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG) is pleased to announce that the UK NOGG 2017 Update was released via their website today.  This new Guideline, accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in March 2017, includes a number of updates relating to fracture risk assessment, management of osteoporosis and treatment recommendations, all highly relevant for older people.

It is currently recommended that fracture risk should be assessed using the freely available online FRAX tool in all postmenopausal women, and men age 50 years or more, who have risk factors for sustaining a fracture.  Continue reading

Good Vibrations: whole body vibration treatment

Falls are common in older people and are the direct cause of many osteoporotic fractures. There are limited treatments available to help frail older people who are at risk of falls. A study funded by the National Osteoporosis Society and the British Geriatrics Society on the potential benefits of whole body vibration for frail older people has now been published in Age and Ageing.shutterstock_83367871

The collaborative work between the University of Loughborough and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust showed that older people attending a falls prevention programme are able to tolerate whole body vibration.

Patients were recruited at The Nottingham University Hospitals Rehabilitation Unit and all of them took part in the NICE recommended falls prevention programme, which includes exercise. They were split at random into three groups. One group used a vibration platform that moved vertically up and down; one used a vibration platform with a “see-saw” action and one group stood upon a stationary platform whilst a buzzing noise was played so that they thought they were receiving vibration (sham vibration). The vibration training involved visiting the unit three times per week over 12 weeks, and standing on the plate during several short bouts of vibration, for a maximum of 6 minutes in total. Continue reading

Improving bone health and reducing fractures in Parkinson’s Disease

Celia Gregson (@CeliaGregson) is an academic at University of Bristol who combines bone research with clinical work as a consultant in the Hip Fracture Unit at the Royal United Hospital Bath (@RUHBath). She and her colleague Veronica Lyell, who has also a special interest in Parkinson’s disease, have written a review article on bone health in Parkinson’s disease, and here they describe the work as recently published in Age and Ageing journal.parkinsonsFracture

A collaboration between the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust and the University of Bristol has recently published the first suggested guideline regarding the assessment and management of bone health and fracture risk in patients with movement disorders for whom to date no specific guidelines exist. The full paper can be seen here and below we outline the key points.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD), affecting almost 127,000 UK adults, is the second most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s disease. Prevalence is increasing within our ageing population, affecting an estimated 1% aged >60 years. PD is primarily a neurological disorder; causing tremor, slowness of movement and muscle rigidity. However, it is less commonly recognised that people with PD have substantially higher fracture risk. Continue reading

Research in Metabolic Bone Disease and Musculoskeletal trauma

Arthritis Research UK is working to improve the care of patents with osteoporosis, other metabolic bone disorders and musculoskeletal trauma by funding high quality clinical research. ARUKlogo

They are now looking to extend the clinical studies group and add 4 new topic specific groups and are particularly interested in applicants from endocrinology, gerontology, orthopaedics and trauma, rehabilitation, primary care, clinical chemistry, study methodologists, health service managers and rheumatology.

Continue reading

Stressful life events significantly raise the risk of falls in older men

A study of around 5,000 older men has shown that stressful life events such as death of a loved one, or serious financial problems, significantly raised the risk of falls in the year following the incident. The research is published online today in the journal Age and Ageing.shutterstock_68989549

Dr Howard A. Fink of the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis and colleagues conducted a study of 5,994 community-dwelling men over the age of 65 who were enrolled in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) study in six locations across the United States. 5,125 participated in a second study visit and answered questions on stressful life events in the prior year. A further subset of 4,981 men reported complete data on falls for one year after the second visit. Continue reading

Healthcare professionals come together for the BGS Falls Symposium

We finish our coverage of falls awareness week with a blog by Bryony Elliott, Geriatric Trainee in Nottingham. She tweets at @BryonyBryboss.

On Friday the 7th June interested health care professionals from around the country assembled at Nottingham City Hospital to learn about Falls. It was the Trent BGS Falls Symposium.

What struck me first was the diverse group of professionals in the lecture theatre. Looking at the delegate list there were consultants and trainees in geriatric medicine, physios, occupational therapists, nurse specialists, and from all across the country too. A variety of people with a lot of enthusiasm, which was great to behold. Continue reading