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Risk of fractures after stroke: results from the Ontario Stroke Registry


Objective — To determine the risk of fractures after stroke.

Methods — Using the Ontario Stroke Registry, we identified a population-based sample of consecutive patients seen in the emergency department or hospitalized with stroke (n = 23,751) or TIA (n = 11,240) at any of 11 stroke centers in Ontario, Canada, and discharged alive between July 1, 2003, and March 31, 2012. We compared the risk of low-trauma fractures in patients with stroke vs those with TIA using propensity score methods to adjust for differences in baseline factors. Secondary analyses compared fracture risk poststroke with that in age-/sex-matched controls without stroke or TIA (n = 23,751) identified from the Ontario Registered Persons Database.

Results — The 2-year rate of fracture was 5.7% in those with stroke compared to 4.8% in those with TIA (adjusted cause-specific hazard ratio [aHR] for those with stroke vs TIA 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.19-1.46) and 4.1% in age-/sex-matched controls (aHR for those with stroke vs controls 1.47; 95% CI 1.35-1.60). In the cohort with stroke, factors associated with fractures were older age, female sex, moderate stroke severity, prior fractures or falls, and preexisting osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperparathyroidism, and atrial fibrillation.

Conclusions — Stroke is associated with an increased risk of low-trauma fractures. Individuals with stroke and additional risk factors for fractures may benefit from targeted screening for low bone mineral density and initiation of treatment for fracture prevention.



Kapral MK, Fang J, Alibhai SM, Cram PM, Cheung AM, Casaubon LK, Prager M, Stamplecoski M, Rashkovan B, Austin PC. Neurology. 2017; 88(1):57-64. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

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