Fractured First Nations
Dr Sharon Brennan's research with Canadian colleagues has resonance here.
There is a larger absolute increase in mortality after a fracture among Canadian First Nations peoples (Canadian Indigenous) compared to non-First Nations people according to Dr Sharon Brennan, a researcher from Deakin University who has been working closely with Professor William Leslie from the Regional Bone Density Program at University of Manitoba.
Lower income and surgery delay of more than two days also increased the likelihood of mortality post-fracture.
“It appears that there are three independent effects on mortality post-fracture; the first two of which are located at the patient level, ethnicity and lower income, and the third factor is located at the level of health care provision, time to surgery,” said Dr Brennan.
“It is imperative that further work be undertaken to ensure targeted efforts are directed toward those at greatest risk, thereby impacting positively upon their higher baseline risk of mortality.
“Overall, a total of 104,292 participants were involved in this study; of those participants 57,003 major osteoporotic fracture cases were identified.
“These findings are important because Canada has publically accessible health care options, which is similar to the Australian health care system."
The findings have clear implications regarding the re-prioritisation of health care service delivery, and the researchers suggest, as an imperative, that further work examines:
- how best to promote the needs of those at greatest risk of mortality post-fracture
- time to surgery post-fracture and whether time can be effectively reduced, especially for those of First Nations ethnicity and patients with lower income.
"Importantly, this data again highlights that there is much work to be done in Australia to examine wellness post-fracture, especially for the Australian Indigenous peoples," Dr Brennan said.
A Research Fellow who is affiliated with the Barwon Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Deakin University, and the Australian Institute for Musculo-Skeletal Science (AIMSS), NorthWest Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, Dr Brennan holds a prestigious and highly competitive Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
This research has won the collaboration between Dr Brennan and Professor Leslie’s team further international recognition, and was published this month in Osteoporosis International; a leading international journal in the field of bone and mineral research.