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Kettunen J.A.,The ORTON Orthopaedic Hospital | Impivaara O.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Kujala U.M.,University of Jyvaskyla | Linna M.,The National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health | And 7 more authors.
Bone | Year: 2010

Introduction: We studied whether vigorous physical activity in young adulthood is associated with higher femoral bone density and lower risk of hip fracture at older age in men. Materials: A cohort of former male elite athletes (n = 2147) and matched control subjects (n = 1467) were studied for their leisure physical activity, and for fragility fractures at the hip (proximal femur) by Cox regression. Areal bone mineral densities (aBMD) at femoral neck and trochanter region were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in a subgroup of the former athletes (n = 87; median age 59 years) and in a population-based control group (n = 194) and compared by general linear models. Results: After their active sporting careers, the former athletes participated in leisure physical activity more than the matched control subjects (p < 0.0001). The hazard ratio (HR) of osteoporotic hip fracture adjusted for the occupational group was 0.77 (95% CI 0.45 to 1.32, p = 0.34) in the athletes compared with the control subjects. The mean age at the time of the fracture event was 76.9 years (95% CI 73.2 to 78.8) for the athletes and 70.6 years (95% CI 67.1 to 72.9) for the matched control subjects (p = 0.005). Adjusted for age and body mass index, aBMD at the proximal femur was significantly higher in the former athletes compared with the population-based control group (p < 0.0001 for both measurement sites). Conclusions: Osteoporotic hip fractures were sustained at a significantly older age among former athletes compared with control subjects. Clear skeletal benefits of long-term physical loading were also observed in comparative DXA measurements of aBMD. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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