Purpose: A treatment gap exists in vertebral fracture (VF) patients. An outpatient visit is a necessary step to initiate treatment. The study aimed to evaluate factors associated with an outpatient visit following a VF diagnosis, and the association between the interval of an outpatient visit after VF diagnosis and its impact on prescribing of anti-osteoporosis medications (AOMs). Methods: Subjects 65 years and older from Tianliao Township in Taiwan with newly diagnosed VF between 2009 and 2010 were included. Information about outpatient visits and AOMs prescriptions were derived from the National Health Insurance Research database and followed up for 2 years. Factors associated with outpatient visits and the initiation of AOMs were assessed using the multivariable Cox proportional regression model analysis. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC curve) was analyzed to determine the predictive effects of the interval between an outpatient visit following the diagnosis of a new VF on initiating AOMs and the potential optimal cutoff point. Results: Of 393 participants, 42.2% had outpatient visits within 2 years after a new VF diagnosis, for which the mean interval was 4.8 ± 4.8 months. Patients who were female and reported a current use of supplements were positively associated with visits after a new VF diagnosis, but the bone mineral density (BMD) T-score was negatively associated with visits. Furthermore, 140 (35.6%) patients had initiated AOMs within 2 years after the diagnosis of a new VF. It was found that a higher BMD T-score and a longer interval between an outpatient visit following diagnosis was negatively associated with initiation of AOMs. The ROC curve analysis showed outpatient visits within 3 months after a VF diagnosis had the highest Youden index and maximum area under the curve. Conclusions: Patients who were female, were currently taking supplements, and those who had a lower BMD T-score were more likely to visit doctors after being diagnosed with a new VF. Furthermore, a lower BMD T-score and a shorter interval, within 3 months and not more than 8 months, between an outpatient visit following the diagnosis of VF increased the likelihood of being prescribed AOMs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- 醫藥 (全部)