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UNLABELLED: Hip fractures are strong risk factors for further fractures. However, using the National Hip Fracture Database, we observed that in England and Wales, 64% of patients admitted on oral bisphosphonates were discharged on the same and injectable drug use varies from 0-67% and 0.2%-83.6% were deemed "inappropriate" for bone protection. This variability requires further investigation. INTRODUCTION: A key aim for the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) is to encourage secondary fracture prevention of the 75,000 patients who break their hip annually in the UK, through bone health assessment and appropriate provision of anti-osteoporosis medication (AOM). We set out to describe trends in anti-osteoporosis medication prescription and examine the types of oral and injectable AOMs being prescribed both before and after a hip fracture. METHODS: We used data freely available from the NHFD  to analyse trends in oral and injectable AOM prescription across a quarter of a million patients presenting between 2016 and 2020, and more detailed information on the individual type of AOM prescribed for 63,705 patients from 171 hospitals in England and Wales who presented in 2020. RESULTS: Most patients (88.3%) are not taking any AOM when they present with a hip fracture. Half of all patients (50.8%) were prescribed AOM treatment by the time of discharge, but the proportion deemed 'inappropriate for AOM' varied hugely (0.2-83.6%) in different hospitals. Nearly two-thirds (64.2%) of those previously taking an oral bisphosphonate were simply discharged on the same type of medication. The total number of patients discharged on oral medication fell by over a quarter in these five years. The number discharged on injectables increased by nearly three-quarters to 14.2% over the same period, but remains hugely variable across the country, with rates ranging from 0-67% across different units. CONCLUSION: A recent hip fracture is a strong risk factor for future fractures. The huge variability in approaches, and in particular the use of injectables, in different trauma units across England and Wales requires further investigation.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Osteoporos

Publication Date





Audit, Hip fracture, Hip fracture database, Osteoporosis, Secondary fracture prevention, Humans, Wales, Secondary Prevention, Hip Fractures, England, Osteoporosis, Osteoporotic Fractures, Bone Density Conservation Agents