Journal Article

Determinants of fracture risk in a UK-population-based cohort of older women: a cross-sectional analysis of the Cohort for Skeletal Health in Bristol and Avon (COSHIBA)

Emma M. Clark, Virginia C. Gould, Leigh Morrison, Tahir Masud and Jon Tobias

in Age and Ageing

Published on behalf of British Geriatrics Society

Volume 41, issue 1, pages 46-52
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0002-0729
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1468-2834 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afr132

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Background: identification of individuals with high fracture risk from within primary care is complex. It is likely that the true contribution of falls to fracture risk is underestimated.

Methods: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort of 3,200 post-menopausal women aged 73 ± 4 years. Self-reported data were collected on fracture, osteoporosis clinical risk factors and falls/mobility risk factors. Self-reported falls were compared with recorded falls on GP computerised records. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors for fracture.

Results: a total of 838 (26.2%) reported a fracture after aged 50; 441 reported falling more than once per year, but 69% of these had no mention of falls on their computerised GP records. Only age [odds ratios (OR): 1.37 per 5 year increase, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23–1.53], height (1.02 per cm increase, 95% CI: 1.01–1.04), weight (OR: 0.99 per kg increase, 95% CI: 0.98–0.99) and falls (OR: 1.49 for more than once per year compared with less, 95% CI: 1.13–1.94) were independent risk factors for fracture. Falls had the strongest association.

Conclusion: when identifying individuals with high fracture risk we estimate that more than one fall per year is at least twice as important as height and weight. Furthermore, using self-reported falls data is essential as computerised GP records underestimate falls prevalence.

Keywords: fractures; falls; COSHIBA; FRAX; cohort study; elderly

Journal Article.  3467 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine

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