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J Osteoporos, 2019; 2019: 5134690, PMID: 31583071

Bone Mass and Strength and Fall-Related Fractures in Older Age.

Year: 2019

Uusi-Rasi K, Karinkanta S, Tokola K, Kannus P, Sievanen H
The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland.


Introduction: Low bone mineral density is a risk factor for fractures. The aim of this follow-up study was to assess the association of various bone properties with fall-related fractures. Materials and Methods: 187 healthy women aged 55 to 83 years at baseline who were either physically active or inactive were followed for 20 years. They were divided into two groups by whether or not they sustained fall-related fractures: fracture group (F) and nonfracture group (NF). At baseline, several bone properties were measured with DXA and pQCT, and their physical performance was also assessed. Results: During the follow-up, 120 women had no fall-related fractures, while 67 (38%) sustained at least one fall with fracture. NF group had about 4 to 11% greater BMD at the femoral neck and distal radius; the mean differences (95% CI) were 4.5 (0.3 to 8.6) % and 11.1 (6.3 to 16.1) %, respectively. NF group also had stronger bone structure at the tibia, the mean difference in BMC at the distal tibia was 6.0 (2.2 to 9.7) %, and at the tibial shaft 3.6 (0.4 to 6.8) %. However, there was no mean difference in physical performance. Conclusions: Low bone properties contribute to the risk of fracture if a person falls. Therefore, in the prevention of fragility fractures, it is essential to focus on improving bone mass, density, and strength during the lifetime. Reduction of falls by improving physical performance, balance, mobility, and muscle power is equally important.

GID: 4979; Last update: 14.10.2019