Geographic variation of bone mineral density and selected risk factors for prediction of incident fracture among Canadians 50 and older
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BACKGROUND: Striking geographic variation in the incidence of osteoporotic fracture has been shown in national and international studies. The contributing risk factors for this variation are not fully understood. OBJECTIVE: To determine the geographic variation of bone mineral density (BMD) values, prevalent low-trauma fracture, prior falls, and vertebral deformity and to determine how this variation is related to the geographic variation of incident low-trauma fracture. METHODS: We studied incident fracture among 2484 men and 6093 women ages 50 and older from CaMos, a randomly-selected population-based longitudinal cohort recruited from within 50 kilometers of nine cities across Canada. Analyses included up to an eight-year follow-up. RESULTS: Estimates of fracture incidence are all age-standardized and given per 1000 person-years and CI denotes confidence interval. Among men, the lowest incidence of low-trauma fracture was 3.2 (95% CI: 1.1-7.5) in Quebec and the highest was 11.9 (95% CI: 7.1-18.6) in Calgary, compared with an overall incidence of 7.2 (95% CI: 5.8-8.7). Among women, the lowest incidence of low-trauma fracture was 11.5 (95% CI: 8.5-15.1) in Halifax and the highest was 18.5 (95% CI: 14.6-23.3) in Calgary, compared with an overall incidence of 15.3 (95% CI: 14.1-16.7). The regional variation in low-trauma fractures was similar to variation in hip fracture incidence among women (Pearson correlation, r=0.46 to 0.76) but not men (r=-0.06 to 0.05). We noted significant geographic variation in the prevalence of low BMD, as defined by BMD T-score< or =-2.5, however this variation was not directly related to low-trauma fractures or other risk factors. Furthermore, a model including age, BMD, falls, vertebral deformity, and prior clinical fracture was a good predictor of geographic variation of low-trauma fracture incidence in both men (r=0.66) and women (r=0.84). CONCLUSIONS: For both men and women, the burden of low-trauma fracture is not related to the prevalence of osteoporosis as defined by BMD, but is related to a more comprehensive assessment of fracture risk including the following: age, BMD, falls, prior fracture, and vertebral deformity.
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