Measured height loss predicts fractures in middle-aged and older men and women: the EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study.
Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2007 ; 23: 425-32.
DOI : 10.1359/jbmr.071106
PubMed ID : 17997714
PMCID : 0
In this large population-based prospective study among middle-aged and older men and women, we found that height loss of >2 cm over a period of 4 yr is a significant predictor of future fractures. Serial measurement of height is, therefore, recommended among the elderly people.
Height change can be easily measured and may contribute to fracture risk prediction. We assessed measured height loss and fracture incidence in a prospective population study.
Height was measured in participants in the Norfolk cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC-Norfolk) between 1993 and 1997 and repeated between 1997 and 2000. Incident fractures to 2006 were ascertained by hospital record linkage.
In 14,921 men and women 42-82 yr of age, during a mean follow-up period of 7.1 yr, there were 390 fractures, including 122 hip fractures. Prior annual height loss in those who had an incident fracture (1.8 +/- 0.3 [SD] mm) was significantly greater than other participants (0.9 +/- 0.2 mm; p < 0.001). Participants with annual height loss >0.5 cm had an age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio of any fracture of 1.76 (95% CI, 1.16-2.67) and of hip fracture of 2.08 (95% CI, 1.07-4.05) compared with those with no height loss. Each 1 cm/yr height loss was associated with a hazard ratio of 1.86 (95% CI, 1.28-2.72) for all fractures and 2.24 (95% CI, 1.23-4.09) for hip fracture after adjustment for age, sex, past history of fracture, smoking, body mass index, alcohol intake, and heel ultrasound measures. Annual height loss of 1 cm was comparable to having a past history of fracture and equivalent to being approximately 14 yr older in chronological age in terms of the magnitude of relationship with fracture risk.
Middle-aged and older men and women with annual height loss >0.5 cm are at increased risk of hip and any fracture. Serial height measurements can contribute to fracture risk prediction.