Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 2439-2448

First online:

Mortality rates after incident non-traumatic fractures in older men and women

  • S. MorinAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, McGill University Health Center (MUHC) Email author 
  • , L. M. LixAffiliated withUniversity of Saskatchewan
  • , M. AzimaeeAffiliated withUniversity of Manitoba
  • , C. MetgeAffiliated withUniversity of Manitoba
  • , P. CaetanoAffiliated withUniversity of Manitoba
  • , W. D. LeslieAffiliated withUniversity of Manitoba

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Non-traumatic fractures at typical osteoporotic sites are associated with increased mortality across all age groups, particularly in men. Furthermore, in certain age subgroups of women and men, this rate remained elevated beyond 5 years for fractures of the hip, vertebrae, humerus, and other sites.


Increased mortality rates have been documented following non-traumatic hip, vertebral, and shoulder fractures. However, data are lacking as to the duration of excess mortality and whether there is increased mortality following fractures at other sites. We determined mortality up to 15 years following incident fractures at typical osteoporotic sites.


Using healthcare databases for the Province of Manitoba, Canada, we identified individuals 50 years and older with an incident non-traumatic fracture between 1986 and 2007. Each fracture case was matched to three fracture-free controls. Generalized linear models were used to test for trends in mortality and to estimate the relative risk for cases after adjusting for co-morbidity and living arrangements.


During the study period, we identified 21,067 incident fractures in men followed by 10,724 (50.1%) deaths and 49,197 incident fractures in women followed by 22,018 deaths (44.8%). Seventy-six percent of the fractures were at sites other than the hip and vertebrae. After adjustment for age, number of co-morbidities, and level of dependence in living arrangements, the risk of death in cases, relative to controls, was increased in both sexes for hip, vertebral, humerus, wrist (in men only), and other fracture sites. Post-fracture mortality was higher in men than women. Relative mortality was the highest in the younger age groups across the spectrum of fracture sites.


Fractures at typical osteoporotic sites are associated with increased mortality across all age groups, particularly in men. Better understanding of factors associated with increased post-fracture mortality should inform the development of management strategies.


Cohort study Fractures Mortality Osteoporosis