THURSDAY, April 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with recent stroke are rarely screened and treated for osteoporosis, according to a study published online April 25 in Stroke.

Noting that stroke is a risk factor for subsequent osteoporosis and fractures, Eshita Kapoor, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues identified patients aged ≥65 years who were seen in the emergency department or hospitalized with stroke at 11 regional stroke centers and discharged alive to examine the rates and predictors of screening and treatment for bone loss. The authors calculated the cumulative incidence of screening with bone mineral density testing and treatment with medications for fracture prevention within one year after the index stroke, while accounting for the competing risk for death.

In the sample of 16,581 patients, the researchers found that 5.1 percent overall and 2.9 percent of those without prior testing underwent screening with bone mineral density testing; medications for fracture prevention were prescribed within one year after stroke for 15.5 percent overall and 3.2 percent of those not previously on treatment. In all subgroups of patients, the results were similar. Increased rates of osteoporosis pharmacotherapy were seen in association with female sex, prestroke osteoporosis, and poststroke falls and fractures.

“This study highlights low rates of testing and treatment for osteoporosis after stroke, despite the elevated risk of low-trauma fractures in this population,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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