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Fracture Rate Rising

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Over the last decade or so, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of fractures resulting from osteoporosis. In 1995 55 people out of 100,000 were hospitalized with a broken bone brought on by osteoporosis. The comparable rate in 2006 was 85 people out of 100,000. That may not seem like much, but from a public health perspective, that is a 55 percent increase in a very short period of time. Experts are perplexed by this rapid change in fracture rate, especially since drugs like Fosamax to prevent or treat osteoporosis became widely used during that time.

The investigators at the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality suspect that lack of exercise, inadequate levels of vitamin D and widespread use of acid-suppressing drugs such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium may be contributing to this alarming increase. Calcium is not well absorbed in the absence of stomach acid. With osteoporosis-related fractures increasing at such a rapid rate, it makes sense to exercise, get plenty of vitamin D and avoid medications that increase the risk of fractures.

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I would suspect "Lack of Exercise" as the primary reason for this. All the "wonderful" time and labor saving devices we enjoy have led to an enormous sedentary life style. This along with all the drugs we take are a potent cocktail which may be leading us on a path to an eventual unhappy and unhealthy life style, which is prolonged by modern medicine. It may be more important to be able to do the things we like to do in life than to live to an old age and be unable to do these things.

May I suggest another cause for increased fractures; the increased use of the drugs meant to strengthen bones. The osteoporosis drugs such as Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel etc. which claim to strengthen bones are actually saving old bone and the expense of growing new bone. They act by shutting down the body's natural ability to break down old bone but they also restrict the production of new bone, resulting, in people who have been on these drugs for a long period of time, in old brittle bone which reads as strong on the osteoporosis tests.

I agree with you. I have been on all of these drugs including Boniva and Reclast for the last 12 years. I have sever osteoporosis as shown in my last REXA. I feel the medical profession is going to have to take a new approach this one "ain't workin fer me."

I took Fosamax for 8 years, stopping it a year and a half ago because of my own personal concerns about the drug and not wanting to continue on it any longer (against dr. advice). During that 8 year period I had a broken wrist from a fall trying to roller skate and two broken bones in my foot from stepping in a hole. Just this summer I have had two broken ribs from a non-traumatic bump into the side of a children's slide (helping grandson!).

I'm 65 yrs old. I worry that because of Fosamax my bones are more brittle than they were before. I don't have osteoporosis but have been diagnosed with osteopenia since being told to go on Fosamax. During that time period my bone density scores have continued to decline so Fosamax didn't stop that either.

I am taking Actonel once a week and beginning to wonder about the bad news. I don't have too much faith in this drug . A person is exchanging one bad thing for another or even more bad things. Check it out on the instruction sheet; too many side effects.

I wonder how many of the people who experience bone fractures are overweight and if there is a connection? I hate to get back to a subject that everyone groans about and hates, but moderate exercise, including light weights may help more than you think. It may even help you reduce your need for some of these drugs. It has been shown in the past that light weight training has the effect of strengthening bones. Caution, make sure you check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

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