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Accelerated bone loss and increased post-fracture mortality in elderly women and men


Bone loss, a fracture risk factor, may play a role in post-fracture mortality. We found accelerated bone loss (>/=1.31 % bone loss/year for women and >/=1.35 % bone loss/year for men) associated with 44-77 % increased mortality. It remains unclear whether bone loss is a marker or plays a role in mortality. INTRODUCTION: Osteoporotic fractures are associated with increased mortality although the cause is unknown. Bone loss, a risk factor for osteoporotic fracture is also associated with increased mortality, but its role in mortality risk post-fracture is unclear. This study aimed to examine post-fracture mortality risk according to levels of bone loss. METHODS: Community-dwelling participants aged 60+ from Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study with incident fractures were followed from 1989 to 2011. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed according to bone loss quartiles. Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine the effect of bone loss on mortality. RESULTS: There were 341 women and 106 men with >/=2 BMD measurements. The rate of bone loss was similar for women and men (women mean -0.79 %/year, highest bone loss quartile -1.31 %/year; men mean -0.74 %/year, highest quartile -1.35 %/year). Survival was lowest for the highest quartile of bone loss for women (p < 0.005) and men (p = 0.05). When analysed by fracture type, the association of bone loss with mortality was observed for vertebral (highest vs lower 3 quartiles of bone loss, women p = 0.03 and men p = 0.02) and non-hip non-vertebral fractures in women (p < 0.0001). Bone loss did not play an additional role in mortality risk following hip fractures. Importantly, overall, rapid bone loss was associated with 44-77 % increased mortality risk after multiple variable adjustment. CONCLUSION: Rapid bone loss was an independent predictor of post-fracture mortality risk in both women and men. The association of bone loss and post-fracture mortality was predominantly observed following vertebral fracture in both women and men and non-hip non-vertebral fracture in women. It remains to be determined whether bone loss is a marker or plays a role in the mortality associated with fractures.

Type Journal
ISBN 1433-2965 (Electronic) 0937-941X (Linking)
Authors Bliuc, D. ; Nguyen, N. D. ; Alarkawi, D. ; Nguyen, T. V. ; Eisman, J. A. ; Center, J. R.;
Responsible Garvan Author Dr Dana Bliuc
Published Date 2015-04-01
Published Volume 26
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 1331-9
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version