Adherence to fracture liaison service programs in patients over 70: the hidden part of the iceberg

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Significant dropout rates have been observed throughout Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) programs, especially for elderly patients. In an FLS program set up specifically for patients over 70, the non-initiation of osteoporosis treatment was the only factor associated with poor adherence to the program. Neither age nor frailty factors affected adherence.


FLS programs are considered the most effective interventions for secondary prevention of osteoporotic fractures. Our objective was to identify risk factors for non-adherence to an FLS program set up specifically for patients over 70.


Our multifaceted, intensive program included five appointments over a 2-year period. One hundred sixty-seven patients (mean age 83.5 years) who presented with a recent fragility fracture were enrolled. Multivariable analysis was conducted to determine whether the demographic, clinical, frailty, and osteoporotic risk factors of the patients influenced their adherence to the program.


About half of the patients did not attend the follow-up visits. According to the regression analysis, non-initiation of osteoporosis treatment was associated with poor adherence to the program (aHR 3.66). Demographic, clinical, dwelling, frailty factors, osteoporotic risk factors, fracture type, or densitometric scores were not associated with adherence. The first self-reported reason for withdrawal was the difficulty of attending several follow-up visits, and the second was the feeling of not being concerned.


We observed that non-initiation of osteoporosis treatment was the only factor correlated with non-adherence to an FLS program. Thus, neither age nor frailty factors should result in patients not being included in FLS. Beyond the necessity of the osteoporosis treatment, good patient understanding of the relevance of all the interventions included in the program is the key.

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Correspondence to B. Mugnier.

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The study was approved by the institutional review board. In accordance with the French public health law (Art. L 1121-1-1, Art. L 1121-1-2), written consent from the patients was not required for this type of study.

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Mugnier, B., Daumas, A., Doddoli, S. et al. Adherence to fracture liaison service programs in patients over 70: the hidden part of the iceberg. Osteoporos Int (2020) doi:10.1007/s00198-020-05290-7

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  • Adherence
  • Aged
  • Fracture liaison service
  • Fragility fracture
  • Oldest old
  • Secondary fracture prevention