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Bone. 2005 Dec;37(6):858-63. Epub 2005 Oct 14.

Quantitative ultrasound parameters as well as bone mineral density are better predictors of trochanteric than cervical hip fractures in elderly women. Results from the EPIDOS study.

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Département d'Information Médicale des Hospices Civils de Lyon, 162 avenue Lacassagne, 69424 Lyon Cedex 03, France.



Hip fractures can be separated into cervical and trochanteric fractures. Trochanteric fractures have been associated with up to twice the short-term mortality of cervical fractures in the elderly. There is also evidence suggesting that the mechanisms are different. Evidence from the literature remains limited on the predictive power of bone mineral density (BMD) and quantitative ultrasounds (QUS) for both types of hip fractures.


5703 elderly women aged 75 years or more, who were recruited from the voting lists in the EPIDOS study, and had baseline calcaneal ultrasounds (QUS) and DXA measurements at the hip and the whole body, were analyzed in this paper. Among those, 192 hip fractures occurred during an average follow-up of 4 years, 108 cervical and 84 trochanteric fractures.


Femoral neck, trochanteric and whole body BMD were able to predict trochanteric hip fracture (RR's and 95% CI were, respectively, 3.2 (2.4-4.2); 4.8 (3.5-6.6); and 2.8 (2.2-3.6)) more accurately than cervical fractures (respectively, 2.1 (1.7-2.7); 2.3 (1.8-3.0); 1.2 (1.0-1.6)). All ultrasound parameters, SOS, BUA, and stiffness index (SI) were significant predictors of trochanteric (RR's respectively 3.0 (2.2-4.1), 2.5(2.0-3.1), and 3.5(2.6-4.7)) but not cervical fractures. After adjustment for femoral neck or trochanteric BMD ultrasound parameters were still significant predictors of trochanteric fracture, and stiffness tended to be a better predictor of trochanteric fractures than either BUA or SOS with a relative risk of 2.25 (1.6-3.1).


A significant decrease of all bone measurements, BMD and QUS, was highly predictive of trochanteric fractures, whereas a decrease of femoral neck and trochanteric BMD were only associated with a slight increase in cervical fracture risk and a low total body BMD or QUS parameters were not significant predictors of cervical fractures. In women who sustained a hip fracture, the decrease of BMD and QUS values increases the risk of trochanteric fracture as compared to cervical fracture. Trochanteric fractures were mostly a consequence of a generalized low BMD and QUS, whereas other parameters might be involved in cervical fractures.

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