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Epidemiology of lifetime fracture prevalence in England: a population study of adults aged 55 years and over

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Roger Francis, Professor Liam Donaldson


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Background: fractures remain a substantial public health problem but epidemiological studies using survey data are sparse. This study explores the association between lifetime fracture prevalence and socio-demographic factors, health behaviours and health conditions. Methods: fracture prevalence was calculated using a combined dataset of annual, nationally representative health surveys in England (2002-07) containing 24,725 adults aged 55 years and over. Odds of reporting any fracture was estimated separately for each gender using logistic regression. Results: fracture prevalence was higher in men than women (49 and 40%, respectively). In men, factors having a significant independent association with fracture included being a former regular smoker [odds ratios, OR: 1.18 (1.06-1.31)], having a limiting long-standing illness [OR: 1.47 (1.31-1.66)] and consuming >8 units of alcohol on the heaviest drinking day in the past week [OR: 1.65 (1.37-1.98)]. In women, significant factors included being separated/divorced [OR: 1.30 (1.10-1.55)], having a 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) score of 4+ [OR: 1.59 (1.27-2.00)], consuming >6 units of alcohol in the past week [OR: 2.07 (1.28-3.35)] and being obese [OR: 1.25 (1.03-1.51)]. Conclusion: a range of socio-demographic, health behaviour and health conditions, known to increase the risk of chronic disease and premature death, are also associated with fracture occurrence, probably involving the aetiological pathways of poor bone health and fall-related trauma.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Scholes S, Panesar S, Shelton NJ, Francis RM, Mirza S, Mindell JS, Donaldson LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2014

Volume: 43

Issue: 2

Pages: 234-240

Print publication date: 14/11/2013

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/aft167


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