Skip to main content

03-06-2010 | Bone health | Article

Hip geometry predicts postmenopausal hip fracture risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Scientists have identified two hip geometry parameters that can predict the risk for hip fracture in postmenopausal women.

As reported in the journal Osteoporosis International, intertrochanter and shaft outer diameter measurements significantly correlated with hip fracture risk after adjusting for bone mineral density (BMD) and clinical risk factors.

“The totality of the evidence from prospective studies supports inclusion of these parameters as risk factors for hip fracture,” say Andrea LaCroix (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, Washington, USA) and co-workers.

The team examined the hip geometry parameters of 10,290 postmenopausal women, aged 50–79 years at time of enrollment, who were followed-up for 11 years. During this time, 147 patients sustained hip fracture and 1300 had fractures at other sites.

Baseline hip dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) hip scans were used to determine bone cross-sectional area, outer diameter, mean cortical thickness on the narrow neck, intertrochanter, and shaft.

Both intertrochanter and shaft outer diameter independently predicted hip fracture, with hazard ratios (HRs) of 1.61 and 1.36 per one standard deviation increase, respectively, after adjusting for age, body size, BMD, and clinical risk factors such as smoking, personal and familial fracture history, and use of corticosteroids.

Furthermore, hip fracture was also significantly predicted by the average buckling ratio at the intertrochanter and shaft, with HRs of 1.43 and 1.24, respectively.

Noting that their study is the third to demonstrate that hip structural analysis from DXA can predict hip fracture, the team concludes: “Future development of three-dimensional technologies that improve the precision of measuring these parameters could have promise in improving the identification of older women most likely to have a hip fracture.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lynda Williams

Related topics