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Keywords:

  • FRACTURE;
  • REFRACTURE;
  • MORTALITY;
  • OSTEOPOROSIS;
  • COMPETING RISKS;
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY

ABSTRACT

After fracture there is increased risk of refracture and premature mortality. These outcomes, particularly premature mortality following refracture, have not previously been studied together to understand overall mortality risk. This study examined the long-term cumulative incidence of subsequent fracture and total mortality with mortality calculated as a compound risk and separated according to initial and refracture. Community-dwelling participants aged 60+ years from Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study with incident fractures, followed prospectively for further fractures and deaths from 1989 to 2010. Subsequent fracture and mortality ascertained using cumulative incidence competing risk models allowing four possible outcomes: death without refracture; death following refracture; refracture but alive, and event-free. There were 952 women and 343 men with incident fracture. Within 5 years following initial fracture, 24% women and 20% men refractured; and 26% women and 37% men died without refracture. Of those who refractured, a further 50% of women and 75% of men died, so that total 5-year mortality was 39% in women and 51% in men. Excess mortality was 24% in women and 27% in men. Although mortality following refracture occurred predominantly in the first 5 years post–initial fracture, total mortality (post-initial and refracture) was elevated for 10 years. Most of the 5-year to 10-year excess mortality was associated with refracture. The long-term (>10 years) refracture rate was reduced, particularly in the elderly as a result of their high mortality rate. The 30% alive beyond 10 years postfracture were at low risk of further adverse outcomes. Refractures contribute substantially to overall mortality associated with fracture. The majority of the mortality and refractures occurred in the first 5 years following the initial fracture. However, excess mortality was observed for up to 10 years postfracture, predominantly related to that after refracture. © 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.