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Int J Epidemiol. 1995 Aug;24(4):783-6.

Body height and hip fracture: a cohort study of 90,000 women.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Hip fractures are a major public health problem. Recent studies have noted a connection between body height and hip fracture.


We investigated the relationship between body height and hip fracture using a prospective cohort of over 92,000 American, predominantly white, female nurses who were followed for 10 years, from June 1980 to June 1990. The women, participants in the Nurses Health Study, were aged 35-59 in 1980.


Women 5'8" or taller were more than twice as likely as women under 5'2" to sustain a hip fracture, after accounting for age, body mass index, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption (multivariate relative risk 2.40, 95% confidence interval: 1.43-4.02; P for trend < 0.0001).


Height appears to be an important independent risk factor for hip fracture among American women. Height should be included as a confounder in studies of hip fracture, and taller, elderly women should be advised to consider preventive measures.

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