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Low-trauma fractures and bone mineral density testing in adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities: a population study


Summary — Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at risk for low-trauma fractures. We investigated the rate of low-trauma fractures and the odds of BMD testing in adults with/without IDD. Adults with IDD were more likely to have a low-trauma fracture, but there was no difference in bone mineral density (BMD) testing rates.

Introduction — Individuals with IDD are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis which contributes to high rates of low-trauma fracture. Low-trauma fractures can lead to significant pain and further decrease mobility. It is therefore important to effectively manage osteoporosis, for example, by monitoring BMD in persons with IDD. The objective of this study was to examine the rates of low-trauma fracture and BMD testing among a population-based cohort of people with IDD and compare them to those without IDD.

Methods — Using administrative data, we created a cohort of adults with IDD between the ages of 40 and 64. They were compared to a random 20% sample of those without IDD. The number of low-trauma fractures and BMD tests in each group were determined for Ontario residents between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010.

Results — Adults with IDD were approximately three times more likely to experience a low-trauma fracture than adults without IDD. The largest disparity in prevalence of low-trauma fractures between those with and without IDD was for men, older adults (60–64 years old) and those living in rural or lower-income neighbourhoods. Post low-trauma fracture, there was no significant difference in the likelihood of receiving a BMD test between individuals with and without IDD.

Conclusions — The findings of this study have a number of important implications related to early detection, prevention and proper management of osteoporosis and low-trauma fractures among persons with IDD.



Balogh R, Wood J, Dobranowski K, Lin E, Wilton A, Jaglal SB, Gemmill M, Lunsky Y. Osteoporos Int. 2017; 28(2):727-32.