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Study Objective. To determine whether men and women admitted to a university teaching hospital for a low-trauma hip fracture were diagnosed, evaluated, or treated for osteoporosis during admission or for up to 1 year after admission.

Design. Retrospective chart review.

Setting. University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, Colorado.

Patients. One hundred eighteen patients admitted with a low-trauma hip fracture from January 1993-December 1998.

Measurements and Main Results. Demographics, medical and social history, prescribed drugs, clinical outcomes, and information regarding the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of osteoporosis were abstracted from inpatient medical records for the index hip fracture. Similar data for the first year after the index hip fracture were abstracted from outpatient medical records of patients who had follow-up visits within the hospital system. Mean ± SD age at the time of fracture was 70 ± 15 years; 43 patients were men and 75 were women. Eighteen percent of patients had experienced a previous hip fracture, 4% had a history of vertebral fracture, and 6% reported a previous wrist fracture. The diagnosis of osteoporosis was noted in the charts of 14% of the patients at discharge and 26% of patients at follow-up. Only 4% of patients during hospitalization and 9% during follow-up received any evaluative tests for osteoporosis, including bone densitometry. Subsequent fractures occurred in 12.5% of patients. Documented treatment of osteoporosis was uncommon, with approximately 75% of patients receiving no therapy for osteoporosis on discharge or during follow-up. Women were more likely than men to receive a diagnosis of osteoporosis, bone mineral density testing, and osteoporosis drug therapy.

Conclusion. In patients with hip fractures, osteoporosis is commonly not diagnosed or treated appropriately.