Clinical Studies and Epidemiology
Our research is focused on the epidemiology of osteoporosis and fracture as well as clinical and translational studies on metabolic bone disease.
Much of our work has centred on the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study which is one of the longest running studies of osteoporosis in men and women world-wide. It started in 1989 and has been following over 3,000 men and women aged 60 plus from the Dubbo area. Some of the highlights from this study are: osteoporosis and fractures are common in men as well as women; following any osteoporotic fracture there is an increased risk of a subsequent fracture, particularly in the first 5-10 years post fracture; and there is also an increased premature mortality following virtually all major and not just hip fractures as had previously been believed. We are now involved in an international collaboration to examine the causes of this increased mortality.
The Lab is also involved in clinical studies. We carried out one of the first studies demonstrating that people who come into hospital with fractures do not get appropriate investigation and treatment and that simply giving information does not improve treatment rates. These studies are continuing as well as a study examining bone loss following the massive weight loss that occurs with bariatric surgery. We are very interested in the hormonal causes of this loss and work closely with Dr Paul Baldock who has identified the links between neural control of bone and appetite in mouse models. The Lab is also examining the role of low vitamin D in the outcomes of people in intensive care.