Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 242–252 | Cite as

Predictors of fractures among the aged: a population-based study with 12-year follow-up in a Finnish municipality

  • Maarit Piirtola
  • Tero Vahlberg
  • Raimo Isoaho
  • Pertti Aarnio
  • Sirkka-Liisa Kivelä
Original Article


Background and aims: The incidence of fractures is high in older populations. More information is needed about long-term predictors of fractures, for preventive measures. The aim of this study was to analyze gender-specific predictors of fractures among persons aged 65 years or older during a 12-year follow-up. Methods: A true cohort study in the municipality of Lieto, southwestern Finland, started in October 1990. Baseline data and information about fractures in 1177 subjects (482 men, 695 women), mean age 73 years (range 65–97), were obtained individually from health care registers during 1991–2002. The mean follow-up period was 8.5 years. Subjects having sustained at least one fracture (n=295) were compared with subjects with no fractures during the follow-up. Predictors of fractures were analyzed using a Poisson regression model, separately by gender. Results: In multivariate Poisson regression analyses, the following predictors of fractures during the 12-year follow-up were identified: reduced handgrip strength (RR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.3 in middle quartiles, RR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4–3.5 in lowest quartile) and body mass index (BMI) 25–29.9 (RR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3–2.7) or BMI <25 (RR 2.0, 95% CI 1.4–2.9) compared with BMI 30 or over among women, and a large number of depressive symptoms (RR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2–3.6) among men. A compression fracture in one or more thoracic or upper lumbar vertebrae on chest radiography at baseline was associated with fractures in both women (RR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3–3.0) and men (RR 3.5, 95% CI 1.9–6.7). Conclusions: The predictors of fractures among aged persons varied by gender, and were associated with both risk factors of falling and bone fragility.


Aged epidemiology follow-up studies fractures predictors risk factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maarit Piirtola
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tero Vahlberg
    • 4
  • Raimo Isoaho
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Pertti Aarnio
    • 7
  • Sirkka-Liisa Kivelä
    • 1
    • 2
    • 8
  1. 1.University of Turku,Department of Family MedicineUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Satakunta Central HospitalPoriFinland
  3. 3.Härkätie Health CentreLietoFinland
  4. 4.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  5. 5.Pori Health CentrePoriFinland
  6. 6.Nordic School of Public HealthGothenburgSweden
  7. 7.Department of SurgerySatakunta Central HospitalPoriFinland
  8. 8.Unit of Family MedicineTurku University HospitalTurkuFinland

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