Osteoporotic fractures: what is the impact on mortality?

Weiwen Chen, Jacqueline Center



The risk of excess mortality persists for at least five years after a fracture event, with the highest risk period being the first few years. It is, however, still unclear what proportion of this risk is attributable to the fractures themselves or to underlying frailty and comorbidity. Age, sex, type of fracture and pre-existing comorbidities are some of the predictors of mortality following a fracture. 

Key Points

  • Mortality risk is increased in the elderly following low trauma hip, vertebral and proximal nonhip nonvertebral fractures.
  • The mortality risk is further increased following subsequent fractures.
  • Men have a higher risk of mortality following fractures than women.
  • Antiresorptive treatment for people with osteoporosis may improve their survival.
  • Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment for osteoporosis is a cost-effective strategy for the Australian healthcare system.

    Picture credit: © RapidEye/
    Models used for illustrative purposes only