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Am J Public Health. 1988 Dec;78(12):1554-8.

Fractures and lifestyle: effect of cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, and relative weight on the risk of hip and forearm fractures in middle-aged women.

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Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and low relative weight are often cited as risk factors for osteoporosis. In a prospective cohort study of 96,508 middle-aged nurses 35 to 59 years of age we found that smoking was not a risk factor for hip and forearm fracture. Women who drank more than 15 grams of alcohol per day and whose relative weight was less than 21 kg/m2 were at increased risk of fractures, but these risk factors were not independent. Only the combination of alcohol intake and thinness substantially increased the likelihood of fracture. The low weight women consuming more than one drink per day comprised but 4 per cent of our population of middle-class women and sustained 6 per cent of the fractures.

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