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Br J Radiol. 1999 Aug;72(860):729-33.

Geometry of proximal femur in the prediction of hip fracture in osteoporotic women.

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Divisione di Medicina Interna, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy.


111 White post-menopausal women with hip fracture and 329 healthy controls were studied in order to determine whether proximal femur geometry predicts hip fracture and improves the discriminant ability of femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly women. All subjects underwent dual X-ray photon absorptiometry (DXA) of the hip from which the femoral neck BMD, hip axis length, femoral neck width and femoral neck-shaft angle were measured. Fractured subjects had a lower femoral neck BMD, a longer hip axis length and a more valgus neck-shaft angle. The hip axis length correlated significantly with neck-shaft angle, femoral neck width and age. No significant correlation was found between neck-shaft angle and age. On standardized logistic regression, the hip axis length and the neck-shaft angle predicted fracture independently of BMD after correction for age, weight and femoral neck BMD. The femoral neck BMD significantly discriminated fractured subjects after correction for all potential confounders. The logistic models containing simultaneously one femoral geometric parameter and the neck BMD discriminated significantly better than those containing the same variables as single predictor. Our data suggest that hip axis length may play a role in fracture risk and supports a similar role for neck-shaft angle. Combining proximal femur geometric measurements and femoral neck BMD improved the discriminant ability of each measurement.

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