Clinical Studies and Epidemiology Lab
Our research focuses on the epidemiology of osteoporosis and fracture, as well as clinical and translational studies to understand barriers to treatment uptake and improve bone health management.
Our work initially centred on the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study, which is one of the longest running studies of osteoporosis worldwide. Since commencing in 1989, it has followed over 3,000 individuals aged 60 or older, living in the Dubbo area. The study has resulted in several important findings including: 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 five to ten years post fracture; premature mortality increases following virtually all major fractures, not just hip fractures as previously believed. We now spearhead multiple international collaborations examining the causes of this increased re-fracture and mortality risk, and identifying people most likely to suffer these adverse consequences. Our recent findings indicate that comorbidities, present at the time of fracture, not only worsen post-fracture outcomes but also result in a lower likelihood of being treated. This is an area of active research interest.
Our lab is also involved in clinical studies. We have 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 providing information does not improve treatment outcomes. These studies have provided the evidence behind the Refracture Prevention Services now mandated for all NSW hospitals. We are also studying the individual and system barriers to treatment uptake, and are involved with implementation studies to improve outcomes. In addition to this, our lab is examining the role of antiosteoporosis medication on the outcomes of people in intensive care.