Fewer hip fractures may be associated with reductions in smoking, heavy drinking

A new study, which analyzed 40 years of Framingham Heart Study data, found an association between lowered rates of hip fractures and decreases in smoking and heavy drinking.The rates of hip fractures in the United States have been declining over the past few decades. Although some experts attribute this change primarily to improved treatments for bone health, a new National Institutes of Health-supported study suggests other factors. These results indicate that modifiable lifestyle factors, along with treatments, may be beneficial to bone health. The findings appear July 27, 2020 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Timothy Bhattacharyya, M.D., a researcher with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of NIH, led the analysis to determine what may be causing the drop in hip fracture rates. The research team included scientists from NIH’s National Cancer Institute, the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, part of the Hebrew SeniorLife, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

The analysis included information from 4,918 men and 5,634 women who participated in the Framingham Study. These individuals were followed for a first hip fracture between Jan. 1, 1970, and Dec. 31, 2010. The rates for hip fractures, which were adjusted for age, dropped by 4.4% each year across the 40-year study period. The decrease was seen in both men and women.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022