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Fragility fractures of the hip have a major impact on the lives of patients and their families. This study highlights significant geographical variation in secondary fracture prevention with even the highest performing regions failing the majority of patients despite robust evidence supporting the benefits of diagnosis and treatment. INTRODUCTION: The purpose of the study is to describe the geographic variation in anti-osteoporosis drug therapy prescriptions before and after a hip fracture during 1999-2013 in the UK. METHODS: We used primary care data (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) to identify patients with a hip fracture and primary care prescriptions of any anti-osteoporosis drugs prior to the index hip fracture and up to 5 years after. Geographic variations in prescribing before and after availability of generic oral bisphosphonates were analysed. Multivariable logistic regression models were adjusted for gender, age and body mass index (BMI). RESULTS: Thirteen thousand sixty-nine patients (76 % female) diagnosed with a hip fracture during 1999-2013 were identified. Eleven per cent had any anti-osteoporosis drug prescription in the 6 months prior to the index hip fracture. In the 0-4 months following a hip fracture, 5 % of patients were prescribed anti-osteoporosis drugs in 1999, increasing to 51 % in 2011 and then decreasing to 39 % in 2013. The independent predictors (OR (95 % CI)) of treatment initiation included gender (male 0.42 (0.36-0.49)), BMI (0.98 per kg/m2 increase (0.97-1.00)) and geographic region (1.29 (0.89-1.87) North East vs. 0.56 (0.43-0.73) South Central region). Geographic differences in prescribing persisted over the 5-year follow-up. If all patients were treated at the rate of the highest performing region, then nationally, an additional 3214 hip fracture patients would be initiated on therapy every year. CONCLUSIONS: Significant geographic differences exist in prescribing of anti-osteoporosis drugs after hip fracture despite adjustment for potential confounders. Further work examining differences in health care provision may inform strategies to improve secondary fracture prevention after hip fracture.

Original publication




Journal article


Osteoporos Int

Publication Date





169 - 178


Epidemiology, Geographic variation, Hip fracture, Osteoporosis, Primary care data, Secondary fracture prevention, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Bone Density Conservation Agents, Comorbidity, Drug Prescriptions, Female, Hip Fractures, Humans, Male, Medical Record Linkage, Middle Aged, Osteoporosis, Osteoporotic Fractures, Practice Patterns, Physicians', Primary Health Care, Recurrence, Secondary Prevention, United Kingdom