Multimorbidity is associated with fragility fractures in women 50 years and older: A nationwide cross-sectional study
Anabela Barcelos, David G. Lopes, Helena Canhão, Jaime Branco, Ana Maria Rodrigues
2021 Volume 15, p101139
Multimorbidity is a worldwide health problem, especially in elderly patients who have a higher risk of fragility fracture. Currently, there is insufficient knowledge about the burden of multimorbidity in patients with previous fragility fracture. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between multimorbidity and previous fragility fracture, and to assess the effect of fragility fracture and/or multimorbidity in the perception of quality-of-life and physical function, in women 50 years of age and older.
Women aged ≥50 years from the EpiReumaPt study (2011-2013), a nationwide population-based study, were evaluated. Self-reported data regarding sociodemographics, health-related quality of life, physical functioning, fragility fracture, and multimorbidity were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Multimorbidity was defined as 2 or more chronic non-communicable diseases. Descriptive exploratory analysis of the data was performed using hypothesis testing. Multiple logistic regression modelling was used to assess the association between multimorbidity and fragility fractures, and linear regression was used for the quality-of-life and physical function outcomes.
The estimated prevalence of fragility fracture in women older than 50 years was 17.5%. A higher prevalence of multimorbidity (74.6%) was found in the group of women with previous fragility fracture than in those without previous fragility fracture. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that women with multimorbidity had a higher odds of fragility fracture (adjusted odds ratio, 1.38; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-1.69), compared with women with 1 or no self-reported non-communicable chronic diseases. In women with previous fragility fracture, rheumatic diseases (62.7%) and hypertension (58.6%) were the most frequently self-reported non-communicable chronic diseases. The combination of fragility fracture and multimorbidity was associated with a lower quality of life and higher degree of disability.
Women 50 years and older with multimorbidity had a significantly increased odds of fragility fracture. Fragility fracture combined with multimorbidity was negatively associated with quality of life and positively associated with disability. This study emphasizes the need to redesign health services to care for patients to prevent non-communicable chronic diseases and fragility fracture, particularly in women 50 years and older, in whom these diseases are likely to potentiate the risk of fragility fracture.
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