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Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jan 14;168(1):47-54. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2007.2.

Endogenous sex hormones and incident fracture risk in older men: the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study.

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Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.



Data on the influence of gonadal hormones on incident fracture risk in elderly men are limited. We prospectively examined the relationship between serum levels of testosterone and estradiol and future fracture risk in community-dwelling men.


A total of 609 men older than 60 years had been observed between January 1989 and December 2005, with the median duration being 5.8 years (up to 13 years). Clinical risk factors, including bone mineral density and lifestyle factors, were assessed at baseline. Serum testosterone and estradiol levels were measured by tandem mass spectrometry. The incidence of a low-trauma fracture was ascertained during follow-up.


During follow-up, 113 men had at least 1 low-trauma fracture. The risk of fracture was significantly increased in men with reduced testosterone levels (hazard ratio [HR], 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-1.62). After adjustment for sex hormone-binding globulin, serum testosterone (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.22-1.78) and serum estradiol (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.00-1.47) levels were associated with overall fracture risk. After further adjustment for major risk factors of fractures (age, weight or bone mineral density, fracture history, smoking status, calcium intake, and sex hormone-binding globulin), lower testosterone was still associated with increased risk of fracture, particularly with hip (HR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.24-2.82) and nonvertebral (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.03-1.68) fractures.


In community-dwelling men older than 60 years, serum testosterone is independently associated with the risk of osteoporotic fracture and its measurement may provide additional clinical information for the assessment of fracture risk in elderly men.

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