Hot flashes linked to increased hip fracture risk
Hot flashes are associated with a significant increase in the risk of hip fracture, regardless of age, body mass index, and other confounders such as smoking, according to analysis of data from the Women’s Health Study.
The prospective, observational study among 4,867 women aged 50-79 years found a 78% increase in the risk of hip fracture among women with moderate to severe menopausal vasomotor symptoms at baseline, compared with women with no symptoms.
Vasomotor symptom severity was also inversely associated with bone mineral density (BMD) at both the femoral neck and the spine. Compared with women who had no vasomotor symptoms, those with moderate or severe symptoms had 0.015 g/cm2 lower femoral neck BMD and 0.016 g/cm2 lower lumbar spine BMD, according to an analysis published on Dec. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2014 [doi:10.1210/jc.2014-3062]).
“Despite being younger and heavier than asymptomatic women, characteristics associated with higher BMD, women with moderate/severe [vasomotor symptoms] had a higher risk of hip fractures that was also independent of other established risk factors for fractures,” wrote Dr. Carolyn J. Crandall of the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Two of the study authors reported consulting and other financial relationships with drug and device companies.