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Cancer patients with fractures are rarely assessed or treated for osteoporosis: a population-based study.

Osteoporos Int. 2020 Aug 17;: Authors: Leslie WD, Edwards B, Al-Azazi S, Yan L, Lix LM, Czaykowski P, Singh H

INTRODUCTION: Most individuals sustaining a fracture do not undergo evaluation and/or treatment for osteoporosis. Cancer survivors are at increased risk for osteoporosis and fracture. Whether cancer survivors experience a similar post-fracture "care gap" is unclear. Using population-based databases, we assessed whether cancer patients are evaluated and/or treated for osteoporosis after a major fracture. METHODS: From the Manitoba Cancer Registry, we identified cancer cases (first cancer diagnosis between 1987 and 2013) and cancer-free controls with incident major non-traumatic fractures (from provincial physician billing claims and hospitalization databases). The outcomes were performance of BMD testing (from the BMD Registry), initiation of osteoporosis therapy (from drug dispensation database) or either intervention (BMD testing and/or osteoporosis therapy) in the 12 months post-fracture. RESULTS: There were 4238 cancer and 16,418 cancer-free individuals who sustained a fracture after the index date (cancer diagnosis) and were followed for at least 1 year post-fracture. Subsequent BMD testing was performed in 11.0% of cancer cases versus 11.5% non-cancer controls (P = 0.43), osteoporosis treatment in 22.9% cancer cases versus 21.8% non-cancer controls (P = 0.15), and either testing or treatment in 28.9% cancer cases versus 28.4% non-cancer controls (P = 0.53). Predictors of BMD testing and/or initiation of therapy were similar for non-cancer and cancer patients. Post-fracture interventions were consistently used more frequently among women, older patients (age 50 years or older), those who sustained fractures in a later calendar period, and (for treatment) after vertebral fracture. Cancer-specific variables (cancer type, years from cancer diagnosis to fracture, specialty of care provider) showed only weak and inconsistent effects. CONCLUSIONS: A large care gap exists among cancer patients who sustain a fracture, similar to the general population, whereby the evaluation or treatment for osteoporosis is seldom conducted. Care maps may need to be developed for cancer populations to improve post-fracture care. PMID: 32808139 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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