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J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Feb;22(2):211-9.

Predictors of non-spine fracture in elderly men: the MrOS study.

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  • 1University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA.


We examined determinants of nonvertebral fracture in elderly men from six U.S. communities followed an average of 4.1 years. Six clinical risk factors predicted fracture risk independent of hip BMD: tricyclic antidepressant use, previous fracture, inability to complete a narrow walk trial, falls in previous year, age > or =80 years, and depressed mood.


There are few prospective studies of fracture determinants in men. We examined the associations between a comprehensive set of clinical risk factors and risk of nonspine fracture in older men and whether determinants of fracture risk were independent of total hip BMD.


A total of 5995 men > or =65 years of age were recruited from six communities in the Unites States and followed prospectively for an average of 4.1 years. Baseline assessments of demographic, lifestyle, medical history, functional status, anthropometry, and cognitive, visual, and neuromuscular function were assessed by questionnaire or examination. Triannual mailed questionnaires ascertained incident fracture; reported fractures were adjudicated by physicians using medical records and X-ray reports. Proportional hazards models were used to develop multivariable models, selecting variables and controlling for BMD.


Of 5876 men, 4.7% (N = 275) reported an incident nonspine fracture during follow-up (11.46/1000 person-years). Tricyclic antidepressant use (hazard ratio [HR], 2.36; 95% CI, 1.25-4.46), history of fracture at or after age 50 (HR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.62-2.65), inability to complete a narrow walk trial (HR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.23-2.34), falls in previous year (HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.23-2.05), age > or =80 years (HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01-1.76), depressed mood (HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.00-2.95), and decreased total hip BMD (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.34-1.74) were independently related to increased risk. Compared with having none (48.0% of men), having three or more of the clinical risk factors (4.9% of men) increased fracture risk 5-fold, independent of BMD. Having three or more risk factors and being in the lowest tertile of BMD was associated with a 15-fold greater risk than having no risk factors and being in the highest BMD tertile.


Several clinical risk factors were independently associated with nonspine fractures in elderly men. The combination of multiple risk factors and low BMD was a very powerful indicator of fracture risk.

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