UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Meyers Primary Care Institute

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Musculoskeletal Diseases | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms


OBJECTIVES: This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the outcomes of patients with osteoporosis-related fractures managed through fracture liaison services (FLS) programs.

METHODS: Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched (January 2000-February 2017 inclusive) using the keywords 'osteoporosis', 'fractures', 'liaison', and 'service' to identify randomised controlled trials and observational studies of patients aged > /=50years with osteoporosis-related fractures in hospital, clinic, community, or home-based settings who were managed using FLS. Risk of bias was assessed at outcome level. Meta-analysis followed a random-effects and fixed-effects model. Outcomes of interest were incidence of bone mineral density (BMD) testing, treatment initiation, adherence, re-fractures, and mortality due to osteoporosis treatment.

RESULTS: A total of 159 publications were identified for the systematic literature review; 74 controlled studies (16 RCTs; 58 observational studies) were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, 41 of 58 observational studies and 12 of 16 RCTs were considered of high quality. Compared with patients receiving usual care (or those in the control arm), patients receiving care from an FLS program had higher rates of BMD testing (48.0% vs 23.5%) and treatment initiation (38.0% vs 17.2%) and greater adherence (57.0% vs 34.1%). Unweighted average rates of re-fracture were 13.4% among patients in the control arm and 6.4% in the FLS arm. Unweighted average rates of mortality were 15.8% in the control arm and 10.4% in the FLS arm. Meta-analysis revealed significant FLS-associated improvements in all outcomes versus non-FLS controls, with BMD testing increased by 24 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18-0.29), 20 percentage points for treatment rates (95% CI 0.16-0.25), and 22 percentage points for adherence (95% CI 0.13-0.31) and absolute risk of re-fracture reduced by five percentage points (95% CI -0.08 to -0.03) and mortality reduced by three percentage points (95% CI -0.05 to -0.01).

CONCLUSION: FLS programs improved outcomes of osteoporosis-related fractures, with significant increases in BMD testing, treatment initiation, and adherence to treatment and reductions in re-fracture incidence and mortality.


Fracture liaison services (FLS), Meta-analysis, Osteoporosis, Outcomes, Re-fracture

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© 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

DOI of Published Version



Bone. 2018 Jun;111:92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2018.03.018. Epub 2018 Mar 16. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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