An increased rate of falling leads to a rise in fracture risk in postmenopausal women with self-reported osteoarthritis: a prospective multinational cohort study (GLOW)
Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, 07/06/2012
Prieto–Alhambra D et al. – Postmenopausal women with self–reported osteoarthritis have a 20% increased risk of fracture and experience 25% more falls than those without osteoarthritis. These data suggest that increased falls are the causal pathway of the association between osteoarthritis and fractures.Methods
- The Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women is a prospective multinational cohort of 60 393 non–institutionalised women aged ≥55 years who had visited primary care practices within the previous 2 years.
- Questionnaires were mailed at yearly intervals.
- Patients were classified as having osteoarthritis if they answered yes to the question, ‘Has a doctor or other health provider ever said that you had osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease?’, and this was validated against primary care records in a subsample.
- Information on incident falls, fractures and covariates was self–reported.
- Cox and Poisson models were used for incident fractures and number of falls, respectively, to compute hazard ratios (HRs) and rate ratios (RRs) for baseline osteoarthritis status.
- Of 51 386 women followed for a median of 2.9 years (interquartile range 2.1–3.0), 20 409 (40%) reported osteoarthritis.
- The adjusted HR for osteoarthritis predicting fracture was 1.21 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.30; p<0.0001) and the adjusted RR for falls was 1.24 (95% CI 1.22 to 1.26; p<0.0001).
- However, the association between osteoarthritis and fracture was not significant after adjustment for incident falls (HR 1.06 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.15; p=0.13)).