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Prevalence of thoracic vertebral fractures in Spanish patients hospitalized in Internal Medicine Departments. Assessment of the clinical inertia. (PREFRAMI study)

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Published:25th Mar 2020
Purpose: To study the prevalence of vertebral fractures (VF), the associated risk factors and the degree of diagnosis and prescription upon discharge in a series of hospitalized medical patients ? 50 years of age. Methods: A cross-sectional, multicentre and observational study in which a prevalence cut-off was carried out concerning patients admitted to six Internal Medicine departments in Malaga (Spain). The main variables were the existence of a fracture in the spine lateral x-ray, the inclusion of the diagnosis of a fracture in the discharge report, and the establishment of anti-osteoporotic treatment at discharge. Results: 254 patients were included (mean age 66.4 � 14.9 years). The prevalence of VF was of 14.2% (36 cases). Patients with VF presented with a higher mean age, compared to those without VF (70.14 vs. 65.7 years) (p = 0.035). The means contrast for the FRAX index variable (major osteoporotic and hip fracture), grouping according to the presence of VF, did not show any statistical significance (p = 0.369 and p = 0.788, respectively). Only in 8.3% of the discharge reports of patients with VF had the diagnosis of VF and/or osteoporosis been recorded and the prescription of anti-osteoporotic drugs been included. Conclusions: A high prevalence of asymptomatic VF is verified in medical inpatients ? 50 years of age. The FRAX index did not turn out to be predictive of the presence of VF in this population. There is an underdiagnosis of osteoporotic VF in the coding at hospital discharge. Action protocols are necessary to avoid clinical inactivity regarding this entity.

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