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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4658050, 6 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Osteoporosis in Injured Older Women Admitted to a Safety-Net Level One Trauma Center: A Unique Opportunity to Fulfill an Unmet Need

1University of Hawaii College of Medicine, Honolulu, HI, USA
2Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
3Department of Surgery, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
4Department of Radiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
5Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
6Section of General, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Stephen J. Kaplan

Received 10 July 2017; Revised 28 September 2017; Accepted 10 October 2017; Published 6 November 2017

Academic Editor: Francesc Formiga

Copyright © 2017 Elisabeth S. Young et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Older trauma patients often undergo computed tomography (CT) as part of the initial work-up. CT imaging can also be used opportunistically to measure bone density and assess osteoporosis. Methods. In this retrospective cohort study, osteoporosis was ascertained from admission CT scans in women aged ≥65 admitted to the ICU for traumatic injury during a 3-year period at a single, safety-net, level 1 trauma center. Osteoporosis was defined by established CT-based criteria of average L1 vertebral body Hounsfield units <110. Evidence of diagnosis and/or treatment of osteoporosis was the primary outcome. Results. The study cohort consisted of 215 women over a 3-year study period, of which 101 (47%) had evidence of osteoporosis by CT scan criteria. There were no differences in injury severity score, hospital length of stay, cost, or discharge disposition between groups with and without evidence of osteoporosis. Only 55 (59%) of the 94 patients with osteoporosis who survived to discharge had a documented osteoporosis diagnosis and/or corresponding evaluation/treatment plan. Conclusion. Nearly half of older women admitted with traumatic injuries had underlying osteoporosis, but 41% had neither clinical recognition of this finding nor a treatment plan for osteoporosis. Admission for traumatic injury is an opportunity to assess osteoporosis, initiate appropriate intervention, and coordinate follow-up care. Trauma and acute care teams should consider assessment of osteoporosis in women who undergo CT imaging and provide a bridge to outpatient services.