The American journal of the medical sciences

Osteoporosis Diagnosis and Management in Long-Term Care Facility.

PMID 26517500


Contemporary estimates of the prevalence of diagnosed osteoporosis among long-term care facility residents are limited. This chart review collected data between April 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013 for adult (age ≥ 30 years) residents of 11 long-term care facilities affiliated with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Data (demographics; comorbidities; osteoporosis diagnosis, risk factors, diagnostic assessments, treatments; fracture history; fall risk; activities of daily living) were summarized. Data for residents with and without diagnosed osteoporosis were compared using χ tests and t tests. The study included 746 residents (69% women, mean [SD] age: 76.3 [13.9] years, median length of stay approximately 18.5 months). An osteoporosis diagnosis was recorded for 132 residents (18%), 30% of whom received a pharmacologic osteoporosis therapy. Fewer than 2% of residents had bone mineral density assessments; 10% had previous fracture. Calcium and vitamin D use was more prevalent in residents with diagnosed osteoporosis compared with other residents (calcium: 49% versus 12%, vitamin D: 52% versus 28%; both P < 0.001). Over half (304/545) of assessed residents had a high fall risk. Activities of daily living were similarly limited regardless of osteoporosis status. The prevalence of diagnosed osteoporosis was higher than previously reported for long-term care residents, but lower than epidemiologic estimates of osteoporosis prevalence for the noninstitutional U.S. In our sample, osteoporosis diagnostic testing was rare and treatment rates were low. Our results suggest that osteoporosis may be underdiagnosed and undertreated in long-term care settings.