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The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of constitutional and lifestyle variables on the subsequent risk of distal forearm (Colles') fracture in a multinational, multicenter, population-prospective study. A total of 15,745 subjects from the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study, who had completed a baseline questionnaire on lifestyle and constitutional factors, were followed up annually using a validated questionnaire to ascertain the occurrence of new fractures. Risks are expressed as hazard ratios (with 95% confidence intervals) derived from a Cox proportional hazards regression model. The incidence of Colles' fracture was 1.7 and 7.3 per 1000 person years in men and women, respectively. In women delayed menarche, over the age of 15 years, was associated with a modest increased risk [HR 1.5 (range 1.1-2.0)]. Regular walking in that group also increased the risk [HR 1.6 (1.2-2.2)] perhaps reflecting the increased exposure to risk of falling. None of the other factors examined revealed any important influences. The results are broadly in line with the few other published prospective studies suggesting only a modest role for these factors in influencing susceptibility to fracture.

Original publication




Journal article


Osteoporosis international : a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA

Publication Date





213 - 218


ARC Epidemiology Unit, Manchester University Medical School, Manchester, UK.


Humans, Osteoporosis, Colles' Fracture, Body Mass Index, Exercise, Risk Factors, Prospective Studies, Life Style, Sex Factors, Health Status, Menopause, Bone Density, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male