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Arm Fracture Raises Risk of Hip Fracture in Elderly Women

Risk higher only during first year after arm fracture

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly women who fracture their arm are at greater risk of fracturing their hip within a year, researchers report in the Mar. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Jeremiah Clinton, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle, assessed the risk of a hip fracture after an incident humeral fracture in 8,049 white women aged 65 years and older with no history of a hip or humeral fracture.

After a mean follow-up of 9.8 years, the investigators found that 321 women had a proximal humeral fracture and 44 of these had a subsequent hip fracture. After adjusting for possible confounding factors, the risk of a hip fracture was significantly higher after a proximal humeral fracture (hazard ratio 1.57). This risk was only significant during the first year after the humeral fracture (hazard ratio 5.68), the researchers report.

"In this cohort of older white women, a proximal humeral fracture independently increased the risk of a subsequent hip fracture more than five times in the first year after the humeral fracture but was not associated with a significant increase in the hip fracture risk in subsequent years," Clinton and colleagues conclude.

One or more of the study authors reports a relationship with Roche, a company involved in osteoporosis treatment.

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