Mild physical activity linked to lower fracture risk in elderly women

  • LaMonte MJ & al.
  • JAMA Netw Open
  • 02.10.2019

  • von Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Regular physical activity, including mild activities like walking and yard work, is associated with reduced fracture risk in elderly women in the Women's Health Initiative.
  • Sedentary time was associated with mildly elevated fracture risk.

Why this matters

  • Physical activity is known from previous studies to be associated with lower hip fracture risk in elderly women.
  • This is the first large cohort to assess fracture risk associated with mild physical activity and sedentary activity.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort of 77,206 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years in 1993 studied for a mean follow-up of 14.0±5.2 years.
  • Physical activity and sedentary time were self-reported.
  • Funding: NIH.

Key results

  • Higher levels of total physical activity were associated with 18% lower hip fracture risk (>17.7 metabolic equivalent [MET] hours/week vs none: HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72-0.95).
  • Reduced hip fracture was also associated with:
    • Walking (>7.5 MET hours/week vs none; HR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.78-0.98).
    • Yard work (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.99, respectively).
    • Mild activity (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.73-0.93, respectively).
  • Total physical activity associated with higher risk of knee fracture (>17.7 MET hours/week vs none: HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.05-1.50).
  • Sedentary time was associated with modestly elevated total fracture risk (>9.5 hours/day vs

Limitations

  • Observational design.