Osteoporosis International

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 2009–2016 | Cite as

Weight loss and distal forearm fractures in postmenopausal women

The Nord-Trøndelag health study, Norway
  • T. K. OmslandEmail author
  • B. Schei
  • A. B. Grønskag
  • A. Langhammer
  • L. Forsén
  • C. G. Gjesdal
  • H. E. Meyer
Original Article



Weight loss is a risk factor for hip fractures, but few studies have evaluated the effect of weight loss on distal forearm fracture risk. In this longitudinal study including 7,871 postmenopausal women, weight loss of 5% or more was associated with an increased risk of distal forearm fractures.


Weight loss is an established risk factor for hip fractures, but little is known about weight loss and distal forearm fractures risk.


The study included 7,871 women aged 65 years or more in the Nord-Trøndelag health study (HUNT) in 1994–1995 (HUNT II) who also had their height and weight measured in 1984–1986 (HUNT I). Forearm bone mineral density (BMD) by single energy x-ray absorptiometry was available for 5,688 women (HUNT II). Fractures sustained after HUNT II were registered during an average of 5.8 years.


A total of 536 women sustained a distal forearm fracture. After adjustments for age and body mass index (BMI) at HUNT I, women who lost ≥5% of their weight between HUNT I and HUNT II had a relative risk of fractures of 1.33 (95% confidence interval: 1.09, 1.62) compared with the rest of the women. The higher risk of forearm fracture among women with weight loss was at least partially explained by their lower forearm BMD.


Weight loss of 5% or more was associated with a 33% increased risk of distal forearm fractures.


Bone mineral density Distal forearm Fractures Weight loss Wrist 



The study was supported by grants from the Norwegian Research Council. The Nord-Trøndelag health study (The HUNT Study) is a collaboration between the HUNT Research Centre; the Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Verdal); the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; and the Nord-Trøndelag County Council. The fracture registration was performed by the Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. K. Omsland
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. Schei
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. B. Grønskag
    • 2
  • A. Langhammer
    • 2
  • L. Forsén
    • 4
  • C. G. Gjesdal
    • 5
  • H. E. Meyer
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Section for Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Institute of General Practice and Community MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and General PracticeNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologySt. Olavs HospitalTrondheimNorway
  4. 4.Division of EpidemiologyNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway
  5. 5.Department of Rheumatology, Haukeland University HospitalUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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