Rubin B, Rene A, Mains D, Marshall M. An analysis of osteoporosis-related hip fractures using hospital discharge data. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2003;103(4):169–175. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2003.103.4.169.
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The purpose of this study was to assess whether physicians in practice inadequately diagnose osteoporosis in a high-risk population of postmenopausal women who have sustained hip fractures. Using the Texas Hospital Discharge Data-Public Use Data File (PUDF) provided through the Texas Health Care Information Council, the authors conducted a review of all postmenopausal women older than 55 years with fractured hips discharged from Texas hospitals during 1999. A total of 13,628 patients meeting these criteria were found using the PUDF. In their diagnoses, physicians for 2233 (16.3%) of these 13,628 women also specified the code for osteoporosis (P < .001) from the ninth revision of the International Classification of Diseases. It is estimated that between 40% and 50% of postmenopausal women have osteoporosis. Therefore, women with fragility fractures form an even more at-risk subset of the population--so much so that one would expect a majority of these women to carry diagnoses of osteoporosis. The age distribution in each group was comparable, implying that receiving a coded diagnosis for osteoporosis was not related to the age of the patient when she was admitted to the hospital. Further, when data was analyzed by race or ethnicity, percentages for each group (ie, diagnosed with hip fracture only versus diagnosed with hip fracture and osteoporosis) were comparable. In conclusion, physicians practicing in Texas during calendar year 1999 inadequately diagnosed osteoporosis in a high-risk population of postmenopausal women who were admitted to hospitals with fractured hips. Future analysis of subsequent annual databases will identify whether continuing medical education efforts cause physicians to diagnosis osteoporosis in this high-risk population more frequently.
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