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For the past 45 years, there has been a great deal of debate regarding the health issues surrounding the fluoridation of public water supplies. In order to assess the association between fluoridation and hip fracture, we identified 129 counties across the United States considered to be exposed to public water fluoridation and 194 counties without exposure. Data from the Health Care Financing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs were used to calculate the incidence of hip fracture among white persons, aged 65 years or older, in fluoridated and nonfluoridated counties. There was a small statistically significant positive association between fracture rates and fluoridation. The relative risk (95% confidence interval) of fracture in fluoridated counties compared to nonfluoridated counties was 1.08 (1.06 to 1.10) for women and 1.17 (1.13 to 1.22) for men. As comparisons were made at the grouped level, it may be inappropriate at this time to draw inferences at the individual level. The relationship observed at the county level needs to be duplicated at the individual level with more precise measures of fluoride exposure.


Journal article


Ann epidemiol

Publication Date





617 - 626


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Fluoridation, Hip Fractures, Humans, Male, Risk Factors