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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MOSQUERA, María Teresa et al. Incidence of and risk factors associated with fractures of the proximal femur due to osteoporosis. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.3, n.4, pp.211-219. ISSN 1680-5348.

Every year more than one million fractures of the proximal femur occur in the world, especially in older persons. Given the continuous aging experienced by populations, such fractures will become more frequent from year to year and will constitute a growing public health problem. The largest increase is expected to occur in countries of Latin America around the year 2050. Since nearly 70% of all atraumatic fractures in persons over 45 are due to osteoporosis, a case-control study was conducted in the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina, for the purpose of investigating the incidence of and the risk factors associated with proximal femur fractures due to osteoporosis. Between 1 August 1992 and 31 July 1993, a record was kept of all fractures of the proximal femur due to osteoporosis in persons over 50 years of age that visited any of the city's 30 public and private health centers. A total of 246 cases was recorded. The incidence rate per 100 000 inhabitants in the above-50 population was 259 among women and 92 among men, for a ratio of 2.8:1. The incidence was consistently higher in the older age groups, especially in persons over 75. Factors associated with a statistically significant increased risk of fracture of the proximal femur were: a history of neurologic disorders, psychotherapeutic drug use, alcohol consumption, previous fractures, cardiovascular disease, and a decreased intake of milk products. There were no observed differences between cases and controls with respect to age at menopause, weight, height, previous activity, smoking habits, or sun exposure, nor were such differences detected in terms of the percentage of women who had undergone oophorectomy.

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