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Simply ask them about their balance--future fracture risk in a nationwide cohort study of twins



Simply ask them about their balance--future fracture risk in a nationwide cohort study of twins



American Journal of Epidemiology 169(2): 143-149



The principal causal components of an osteoporotic fracture are a fall and weakened bone strength. While bone quality measures have been frequently studied, the ability of simple measures of impaired balance to predict fracture risk has received less attention. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted between 1998 and 2000 among 24,598 Swedish twins aged 55 years or older. Impaired balance at the time of interview was reported by 2,890 (12%) of the twins. Twin pairs who were discordant with regard to impaired balance were selected for analysis and followed for fractures through 2005. In a pairwise analysis, the odds ratio for hip fracture was 3.13 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.62, 6.05) among twins with impaired balance as compared with their co-twins with normal balance. When previously recognized clinical risk factors for osteoporotic fracture were considered in the model, the odds ratio for hip fracture with impaired balance was 3.88 (95% CI: 1.40, 10.72). Approximately 40% of all hip fractures were attributable to impaired balance. The odds ratios for any fracture and any osteoporotic fracture for twins with impaired balance were 2.00 (95% CI: 1.29, 3.11) and 2.39 (95% CI: 1.49, 3.82), respectively. These results imply that self-reported impaired balance is a novel and readily assessed risk factor for future fractures in the elderly.

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Accession: 055783001

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19064648

DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn379


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