Frailty-Related Fracture Risk Higher for Older Adults With Cancer History

Cancer survivors who received chemotherapy were more likely to have a fracture than those who did not receive chemotherapy.

HealthDay News — Older adults with a history of cancer have an increased risk for frailty-related bone fracture, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in JAMA Oncology.

Erika Rees-Punia, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Kennesaw, Georgia, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal cohort study using data from 92,431 older adults in the U.S. Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort linked with Medicare claims from 1999 to 2017 to examine the association between cancer diagnoses and risks for pelvic, radial, and vertebral fractures.

Of the participants, 12,943 experienced a frailty-related bone fracture. The researchers found that cancer survivors who were diagnosed one to less than five years earlier with advanced-stage cancer had a higher risk for fracture compared with those without a history of cancer. For cancer survivors with a recent advanced-stage diagnosis versus no cancer, the higher fracture risk was mainly due to vertebral and pelvic fracture sites. Cancer survivors who received chemotherapy were more likely to have a fracture than those who did not receive chemotherapy; this association was stronger within five years of diagnosis. Physically active cancer survivors five years or more after diagnosis had a lower hazard ratio for risk for fracture, but the association was not statistically significant; current smoking was significantly linked to an increased fracture risk.

“If findings from this study are replicated, fracture prevention programs for survivors might include referrals for physical activity with cancer exercise professionals and for smoking cessation programs,” the authors write.

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