Impact of lifestyle factors on fracture risk in older patients with cardiovascular disease: a prospective cohort study of 26,335 individuals from 40 countries
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BACKGROUND: fractures are a major health concern among the elderly. People at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are at an increased risk for fractures. The aim of this study was to assess the individual and combined effect of the CVD risk factors of smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity on fracture risk in a large sample of older individuals with CVD or diabetes with end-organ damage. METHODS: we analysed data for 26,335 adults, aged 55 years or older, who participated in two large antihypertensive drug treatment trials and who had no previous fracture at baseline. Lifestyle factors were assessed by the standardised questionnaire and their individual and combined effects on incident fracture risk were modelled using Cox proportional hazard regression. RESULTS: during the 56-month follow-up, 1,079 incident fractures occurred; 508 (6.51%) among women and 571 (3.08%) among men. Smoking [hazard ratio (HR) 1.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.27-1.82] and low physical activity (HR: 1.19, 95% CI: 1.05-1.36) were associated with an increased risk of any fracture, while high alcohol intake showed a directional, but non-significant, relationship with fracture risk (HR: 1.09, 95% CI: 0.64-1.84). Compared with participants with no lifestyle risk factors, those having one, two, or three risk factors had an increased risk of a future fracture (HR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.03-1.34 for one risk factor; HR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.38-2.16 for two risk factors; and HR: 2.37, 95% CI: 0.88-6.36 for three risk factors; P for trend <0.001). CONCLUSIONS: a healthier lifestyle advocated to reduce the risk of CVD is associated with a significant and graded reduction in fracture risk.
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