Hip Fractures --Top 10 Tips to
Prevent Them
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Last updated October 11, 2016 (originally published February 8, 2010)


By Muireann Prendergast, Contributing Columnist


Quick test-what's the Number One cause of deaths in women
over 50?  Breast cancer? Heart attacks?  The answer may
surprise you.  
Hip fractures. Hip fractures cause the same
rate of death as breast cancer, among women over 50,  
according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.  

Why is it that women pay far more attention to the health of
their breasts that to that of their hips? Could it be that most
of us are simply unaware of how potentially lethal a hip
fracture can be?

Here may be the most startling fact of all about hip fractures.
Did you know that,  half --- a whopping 50% --- of people
who suffer a hip fracture
never walk independently again,
with some requiring stays in nursing homes for up to one
year afterwards?

Hip fractures are no small matter for American hospitals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) 320,000 hospital admissions resulted from hip
fractures in 2004 alone with this figure expected to rise to
500,000 in 2040.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS)
estimated in 2007 that the average cost of hip fracture care
was $26,912 per patient.

[A January 21, 2015 Blue Cross Blue Shield Report, "The
Health of America" report found that the cost of a hip
replacement varies greatly across the country from $16,398
in Montgomery, Alabama to $59,447 in New York, New York.]

The Most Common Causes of Hip Fractures

While high collision impact or blows such as that from road
accidents generally cause hip fractures in young sufferers,
the CDC suggests that up to 90% of hip fractures in older
patients are due to falls. However, bone weakening diseases
such as Osteoporosis, or even tumors and certain infections
can also be culprits.

Dietary issues also play a role. Those with poor diets lacking
calcium and vitamin D as well as smokers and heavy drinkers
are also more prone to the bone mineral loss that causes hip
fracture.

Recently, research has also discovered that taking too much
of certain vitamins --- in particular Vitamin A --- can lead to
hip fractures. (Read more about the connection between
Vitamin A and Hip fractures.)

Family history also plays a role as people whose parents
suffered from fractures late in life are more prone to pass
this problem onto their children as are delicate, small boned,
families.

Top 10 Tips to Prevent Hip Fractures




























1. Check Your Bone Density

Checking your bone density in a quick, pain free, test at your
doctor’s office is an important step to avoiding hip fracture.
This test will tell you if you are suffering from
osteoporosis,
a bone-thinning disease that is one of the leading causes of
hip fracture in later years.

If you are found to be suffering from osteoporosis, your
doctor will advise you on a course of medication that will
increase your bone density and make you less likely to suffer
hip fracture.

2.
Monitor Anemia Levels

Anemia, when blood has a lower than normal number of red
blood cells, can cause light-headedness, unsteadiness and
balance problems and lead to the falls that result in hip
fracture. Regular hemoglobin tests, to check the blood’s red
blood cell count, are critical to preventing as well as curing
this illness.  Include
foods that prevent anemia in your daily
diet.

3.
Check Your Medications

Some medications can have side effects including weakness,
dizziness and loss of balance which in turn can cause
patients to fall. These include benzodiazepines, often
prescribed for anxiety. It’s a good idea to check with your
doctor if this pertains to medicines you are taking and, if it
does, ask your doctor to suggest alternatives without these
effects.

4.
Exercise Regularly to Prevent Hip Fractures

Keeping active is an important factor in avoiding hip fracture
in older patients.  Not only does exercise strengthen bones,
it also improves balance.

Daily squats and Tai Chi are effective and safe ways for older
people to exercise. In fact, improving
muscle strength can
also help you to heal faster, if you happen to suffer a hip
fracture.

Aim to do 5 squats with a straight back if you have never
done squats. Maintain this level for two weeks or until it feels
easy. Then aim for two sets of these 5 squats every other
day. Finally, aim to do 3 sets (each of which is 8 to 12
squats) every other day.

5.
Eat Healthily

A balanced diet with sufficient levels of key vitamins and
calcium is an important way to ward off hip fracture. Not
only will a healthy and balanced diet provide all important
nutrients to keep bones healthy, it is also critical for warding
off anemia, another cause of falls.

One of the key nutrients for keeping bone density high is
Vitamin K. Only a few foods are high enough in Vitamin K to
help your bones. One is "natto" a Japanese dish made of
fermented soy and the other is gouda cheese.

6.
Quit Smoking

Since 1976, studies have shown that tobacco smoking
increases the risk of hip fracture particularly in women.

These studies show that tobacco smoking reduces bone
mineral density in post-menopausal women and can cause
Osteoporosis in later life. Some studies suggest that the risk
of Osteoporosis is 50% greater in female smokers than in
their non smoking counterparts.

7.
Perform a Household Safety Check

In order to avoid the accidents and injuries that result in hip
fractures a thorough revision of every room in the house
and the garden is a must. Cables strewn across floors,
slippery floors, loose rugs, insecure railings and also children’
s toys or tools lying about need to be removed or remedied
in order to increase household safety.

8.
Do an Eye Test

It’s no secret that as we get older the quality of our vision
diminishes and we may even develop ailments like cataracts.
Regular eye checks are important to ensure that you have
the glasses to suit you.

Blurred and poor vision can cause the falls which lead to hip
fracture. Again, you should eat
foods that support eye health.

9.
Use a Hip Protector

External hip protectors can be used to protect the elderly
during falls.

These garments function like slip on girdles and during the
impact of a fall they shift any impact from the bone to the hip
protector pad. Check with your doctor for a model that suits
your shape and size.

10.
Eat Blueberries

Recent studies have shown that the antioxidants in
blueberries work to decrease the unsteadiness that generally
characterizes the aging process.

11.
Maintain Healthy Magnesium Levels

Magnesium is critical to bone density. In fact, 60% of all
your body's magnesium is stored in your bones, according to
a 2013 study led by Dr.  Sara Castiglioni of the University of
Milan.

But just as getting enough magnesium is important, so is
making sure that you don't exceed your magnesium needs.
Too much magnesium can actually weaken bones.

So how much is the right amount of magnesium for bone
health? A study by the Women's Health Initiative found that
women who took an average of 422.5 mg daily of
magnesium had 3% higher bone mineral density in their hips
than women whose magnesium intake was at the lower end
of the range, at less than 206.5 mg Mg/d.

Those women who took 422.5 mg per day tended to be
more active, exercised more and thus were more likely to
fall. They suffered high rates of wrist fractures.  

So, in a sense, you have top choose your poison. Higher
magnesium to lessen your risk for hip fractures --and thus
make your hips stronger so you can be more physically
active -- or lower magnesium to maybe have lower risk of
wrist fractures.
































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Osteoporosis -Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies

Osteopenia-Causes and Cures

Vitamin A Overdose Leads to Hip Fractures


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