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Spinal treatment 'could cut osteoporosis deaths'

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Osteoporosis-related deaths could be reduced by a type of treatment for spinal fractures, which a study claims extends the lives of those who receive it.

The technique, which involves cement being injected into the spinal column of sufferers to give it extra strength and stability, was found to cut the death rate of those with vertebral fractures as a result of the brittle bone disease by 44%.

The study analysed data relating to 400,000 patients in the US. It compared the death rates of people diagnosed with vertebral osteoporotic compression fractures who received the treatment with people who just had bed rest and took painkillers.

There was a “significant reduction” in mortality of 44% for those who underwent the surgery. Two years later, nearly three quarters of those who had received the treatment remained alive, the study also found.

The results were presented at the British Geriatric Society’s spring meeting in Liverpool. It has been reported that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which vets the cost-effectiveness of NHS treatments, is looking at the new evidence.


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