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Osteoporotic Fractures Increase Risk of Dying by 300%

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Given the major health implications of a recent study on the risk of death from osteoporotic fractures, I am taking a break from my series on health care reform. My next health care reform blog should be published next week and will discuss the healthcare delivery system in this country and patients' access to -- or lack thereof -- to licensed health care providers.

On August 4, 2009 the Canadian Medical Association Journal released results of the largest study to date on the risk dying after breaking a bone. They studied nearly 10,000 people across Canada over five years. Women and men 50 and older with osteoporosis who experienced a vertebral fracture were 270% more likely to die than those without fractures. And those with a hip fracture were 320% more likely to die. Additionally, the researchers observed that hip fractures "may have long-lasting effects that result in eventual death by signaling or actually inducing a progressive decline in health."

These findings add to at least six other studies that all confirm the same thing: breaking a hip or vertebrae increases your risk of dying.

What can you do about it?
Talk to your doctor about the best way to prevent falls and fractures. Falls are the number one reason for breaking a bone, and exercises, such as Qi Qong and Tai Chi, have been shown to decrease falls and fall-related injuries by up to 75%.

While Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva can help reduce fractures, these medications only decrease fracture risk by less than 50%. And calcium supplements and vitamin D only decrease fractures by about 18%. However, 45 mg/day of MK4, a form of vitamin K2, plus calcium and vitamin D have been shown in numerous clinical trials to decrease fractures by more than 80%. In Japan, 45 mg MK4 (a form of vitamin K2) has been approved for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis since 1995.

You can also learn more about osteoporosis on my Huffington Post Blog, It's Time to Change the Discussion About Osteoporosis.

John Neustadt, ND is medical director of Montana Integrative Medicine and the co-founder, with Steve Pieczenik, MD, PhD, of Nutritional Biochemistry, Incorporated (NBI) and NBI Testing and Consulting Corp (NBITC). The doctors created Osteo-K, an osteoporosis supplement formulated by physicians from Harvard, Cornell, MIT and Bastyr. For more information on osteoporosis supplements and decreasing your risk for osteoporosis and fractures, visit Their latest book, Foundations and Applications of Medical Biochemistry in Clinical Practice, is available on Amazon.

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