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Physical Activity May Lower Postmenopausal Fracture Risk

Total physical activity linked to lower risk for hip fracture, but increased risk for knee fracture

MONDAY, Oct. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For postmenopausal women, physical activity is associated with reduced risks for total fracture and hip fracture, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in JAMA Network Open.

Michael J. LaMonte, Ph.D., M.P.H., from The State University of New York in Buffalo, and colleagues examined the correlations for physical activity and sedentary behaviors with fracture incidence among 77,206 postmenopausal women enrolled at 40 U.S. clinical centers.

The researchers found that 33.1 percent of women reported a first incident fracture. There was an inverse correlation for total physical activity with the multivariable-adjusted risk for hip fracture (hazard ratio [HR], 0.82 for >17.7 metabolic equivalent [MET] hours/week versus none). Inverse associations with hip fracture were seen for walking (HR, 0.88 for >7.5 MET hours/week versus none) and for mild activity, moderate-to-vigorous activity, and yard work (HRs, 0.82, 0.88, and 0.90, respectively). There was a positive correlation noted for total activity with knee fracture (HR, 1.26 for >17.7 MET hours/week versus none). Lower risks for clinical vertebral fractures and total fractures were seen for mild activity (HRs, 0.87 and 0.91, respectively). Sedentary time was positively associated with total fracture risk after controlling for covariates and total physical activity (>9.5 versus <6.5 hours: HR, 1.04).

“If confirmed, future recommendations on fracture prevention in postmenopausal women should promote light physical activity, especially in those who are frail and unable to safely engage in more intense activities,” the authors write.

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