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A Rational Guide to Reducing Fracture Risk in Dialysis Patients

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Address correspondence to: Dr. Nigel Toussaint, Department of Nephrology, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Vic. 3168, Australia, or e-mail: nigel.toussaint@med.monash.edu.au.

Abstract

Extrapolation of evidence-based management of disorders in the general population to patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is not always appropriate, and the prevention of bone fracture and reduction of fracture risk in CKD stages 3–5 is one example. Compared to the general population, fracture risk is greater in CKD patients, especially those on dialysis (CKD-5D). Fractures in CKD-5D are associated with a marked increase in morbidity and mortality and with an aging dialysis population the burden of disease caused by fracture is likely to increase. Patients with CKD-5D have distinct risks for fracture, as well as sharing risks identified in the general population. The development of the CKD mineral and bone disorder constitutes a significant cause for these differences. Literature addressing the determination of fracture risk and the efficacy of treatments to reduce fracture in patients on dialysis is limited. While some tools used for the diagnosis and monitoring of osteoporosis are applicable to patients on dialysis, bone mineral density measurement by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is generally not helpful and therapeutic interventions that reduce fracture risk in the nonuremic population cannot be generalized to patients on dialysis. This review outlines available evidence on the incidence, risk factors, and management of fractures in CKD-5D with recommendations for strategies to reduce fracture risk.

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