UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Bone Mineral Density as a Predictor of Subsequent Wrist Fractures: Findings From the Women's Health Initiative Study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Age Factors; Aged; Bone Density; Cohort Studies; Estrogen Replacement Therapy; Female; Femur Neck; Follow-Up Studies; Fractures, Bone; Humans; Incidence; Middle Aged; Osteoporosis; Osteoporotic Fractures; Predictive Value of Tests; Prospective Studies; Risk Factors; Spine; *Women; Wrist Injuries


Clinical Epidemiology | Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism | Epidemiology | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Women's Health


CONTEXT: Wrist fractures are common among postmenopausal women. Associations of bone mineral density (BMD) and 10-year predicted risk of major osteoporotic fracture (MOF) with wrist fractures are poorly characterized.

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to examine associations between the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX)-predicted risk of MOF, BMD, BMD change, and wrist fracture.

DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study with a mean follow-up of 8.5 years.

SETTING: This study included 40 US centers.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 11 392 participants from the Women's Health Initiative BMD Cohort aged 50-79 years at baseline were included in this study.


MAIN OUTCOME: The goal was to measure incident wrist fracture.

RESULTS: A FRAX-predicted MOF risk > /=9.3% identified 17% of the women aged < 65 years who subsequently experienced wrist fracture. Each one standard deviation lower BMD was associated with higher wrist fracture risk, with adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.66 (1.42-1.93) for femoral neck (FN) BMD and 1.45 (1.28-1.64) for lumbar spine BMD. Compared with FN BMD T score > /= -1.0, wrist fracture adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) were: 1.51 (1.06-2.16) for a T score between -1.01 and -1.49; 1.93 (1.36-2.72) for T score between -1.50 and -1.99; 2.52 (1.77-3.60) for a T score between -2.00 and -2.49; and 2.65 (1.78-3.95) for a T score < /= -2.5. Decrease in FN BMD between baseline and year 3 was associated with increased risk of subsequent wrist fracture; however, change in lumbar spine BMD was not.

CONCLUSIONS: Lumbar spine and femoral neck BMDs were associated with incident wrist fracture, but the FRAX threshold recommended to identify screening candidates did not identify the majority of women who subsequently experienced wrist fracture. Improved understanding of determinants of wrist fractures is warranted.

DOI of Published Version



J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Nov;100(11):4315-24. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-2568. Epub 2015 Sep 14. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism

PubMed ID