The Impact of Diabetes on Osteoporosis Management and Secondary Fracture Risk After Primary Fragility Fractures: A Propensity Score-Matched Cohort Study

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Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Introduction: Rates of osteoporosis evaluation and management after primary fragility fractures have remained low in recent years. The extent to which this treatment gap affects patients with diabetes is unclear. This study aimed to compare the risk of secondary fractures and rates of osteoporosis diagnosis and management after sentinel fractures in patients with and without diabetes. Methods: A propensity score–matched cohort study was conducted using the PearlDiver database. Patients aged 50 years and older with primary fragility fractures of the hip, wrist, spine, pelvis, humerus, and other locations were identified. Rates of secondary fractures, dual radiograph absorptiometry (DXA) scans, charted osteoporosis diagnoses (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth and Tenth Revisions), and osteoporosis pharmacotherapy within 2 years were compared for patients with and without diabetes using multivariable logistic regression. Results: Matching yielded 27,052 patients in each cohort. Index humerus fractures were more common in the diabetic cohort (15.0% versus 11.6%, P < 0.001), whereas wrist fractures were more prevalent among the nondiabetic cohort (15.2% versus 19.3%, P < 0.001). Incidence of secondary fractures at 2 years was higher for diabetic patients than nondiabetic patients (5.2% versus 4.7%; odds ratio [OR] 1.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99 to 1.17). Diabetic patients were significantly less likely to receive a DXA scan (13.2% versus 13.5%; OR 0.93; 95% CI, 0.88 to 0.98), be diagnosed with osteoporosis (9.3% versus 11.9%; OR 0.77; 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.82), or start pharmacotherapy (8.1% versus 8.7; OR 0.93; 95% CI, 0.87 to 0.99). Conclusion: Despite diabetes being a well-established risk factor for fragility fractures, diabetic patients were significantly less likely to receive DXA scan evaluation, be formally diagnosed with osteoporosis, or be treated with osteoporosis pharmacotherapy after a sentinel fragility fracture. Incidence of secondary fractures within 2 years was also higher among diabetic patients.

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