, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 1329-1336
Date: 05 Jun 2007

Homocysteine and fracture risk in postmenopausal women: the OFELY study

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Abstract

Summary

Homocysteine has recently been described as an independent risk factor for osteoporotic fractures in the elderly. We prospectively followed 671 postmenopausal women belonging to the OFELY study, mean age 62 years, during a mean follow-up of 10 years. After adjustment for age, there was no significant relation between the plasma level of homocysteine and the subsequent risk of fracture.

Introduction

Plasma homocysteine increases with age. Recent studies have described homocysteine as an independent risk factor for osteoporotic fractures in elderly. We investigated the role of plasma homocysteine in the subsequent risk of fractures in healthy ambulatory postmenopausal women.

Methods

Homocysteine was measured at baseline in 671 postmenopausal women from the OFELY cohort (mean age 62.2 ± 9 years). Incident clinical fractures were recorded during annual follow-up and vertebral fractures were evaluated with radiographs every four years. A cox proportional hazards model based on time to first fracture was used to calculate hazard ratios for quartiles of homocysteine values.

Results

Mean homocysteine was 10.6 ± 3.4 μmol/l, increasing with age. After adjustment for age, homocysteine was significantly associated with physical activity, calcium intake, serum albumin and serum creatinine but not with bone turnover markers and bone mineral density. During a mean follow-up of 10 years, 183 fractures occurred among 134 women. After adjustment for age, the overall relative risk of fracture for each 1 SD increment of homocysteine was 1.03 (95%CI 0.87–1.31). Fracture risk was higher in women with homocysteine in the highest quartile without adjustment but no longer after adjustment for age.

Conclusions

Homocysteine is not an independent risk factor of osteoporotic fractures in healthy postmenopausal women from the OFELY cohort with a broad age range.