Inadequate dietary calcium intake in elderly patients with hip fractures.Singapore Med J 2007; 48(12):1117-21SM
Calcium supplementation and pharmacotherapy are recommended in the preventive management of osteoporosis. Many previous studies report of underdiagnosis and undertreatment of osteoporosis among elderly patients with hip fractures. We undertook this study to determine the dietary calcium levels in our local elderly population who were admitted with hip fractures.
77 patients, between the ages of 60 and 98 years of age, and admitted to our department between January 2001 and September 2001 for hip fractures, were studied. The dietary calcium intakes of these patients were determined by a food frequency questionnaire and a detailed diet history. Bone mineral density (BMD) studies were performed on 55 of these patients to confirm the diagnosis of osteoporosis.
The mean daily calcium intake was found to be 650 mg. Only six of our hip fracture patients (7.8 percent) had a daily calcium intake above the recommended levels of 1,000 mg per day. For the 55 patients who had BMD performed, only one patient had a BMD within the normal range. 34 patients (64.2 percent) had hip T-scores in the osteoporotic range and 18 patients (33.9 percent) had hip T-scores in the osteopenic range. We found that the patients with BMD in the osteoporotic and osteopenic ranges had no significant difference in the dietary calcium intake.
The dietary calcium intake of our elderly patients with hip fractures is insufficient. They would benefit from dietary education and calcium supplements to prevent deterioration in bone density and subsequent osteoporotic fractures.