DOWNEY, Calif., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Aggressively managing patients at risk for osteoporosis could reduce the hip fracture rate in the United States by 25percent, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the November issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The first step must be a moreactive role by orthopedic surgeons in osteoporosis disease management, researchers say. This study, the largest to look at osteoporosis management in men and women over 50 years old, followed 650,000 men and women in Kaiser Permanente'sosteoporosis management program and found hip fractures dropped by 38 percent, preventing 970 hip fractures in 2007. The prospective observational study examined the effectiveness of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Healthy Bones Program from 2002 to 2007.Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, the world's largest civilian electronic health record database, was used to collect data on patients that includedanti-osteoporosis medication usage, bone density scans and fragility fractures. A recent report showed that Kaiser Permanente in Southern California leads the nation for effective osteoporosis disease management. The National Committeeon Quality Assurance, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, recently released the results in its QualityCompass® study of reporting health plans for 2008. Of the 10 million Americans who have osteoporosis, 80 percent are women. "Currently in the United States, the rate of treatment after a fragility fracture is only 20 percent. Treatment after a fragility fracture at KaiserPermanente in Southern California is now 68 percent. Health care would be drastically improved if this model of osteoporosis care were adapted for therest of America," said the study's lead author Richard M. Dell, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in Downey, California.