Progressively increasing fracture risk with advancing age after initial incident fragility fracture: The Tromsø Study

Luai Awad Ahmed, Jacqueline R. Center, Åshild Bjørnerem, Dana Bluic, Ragnar M. Joakimsen, Lone Jørgensen, Haakon E. Meyer, Nguyen D. Nguyen, Tuan V. Nguyen, Tone K. Omsland, Jan Størmer, Grethe S. Tell, Tineke Acm Van Geel, John A. Eisman, Nina Emaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


The risk of subsequent fracture is increased after initial fractures; however, proper understanding of its magnitude is lacking. This population-based study examines the subsequent fracture risk in women and men by age and type of initial incident fracture. All incident nonvertebral fractures between 1994 and 2009 were registered in 27,158 participants in the Tromsø Study, Norway. The analysis included 3108 subjects with an initial incident fracture after the age of 49 years. Subsequent fracture (n = 664) risk was expressed as rate ratios (RR) and absolute proportions irrespective of death. The rates of both initial and subsequent fractures increased with age, the latter with the steepest curve. Compared with initial incident fracture rate of 30.8 per 1000 in women and 12.9 per 1000 in men, the overall age-adjusted RR of subsequent fracture was 1.3 (95% CI, 1.2-1.5) in women, and 2.0 (95% CI, 1.6-2.4) in men. Although the RRs decreased with age, the absolute proportions of those with initial fracture who suffered a subsequent fracture increased with age; from 9% to 30% in women and from 10% to 26% in men, between the age groups 50-59 to 80+ years. The type of subsequent fracture varied by age from mostly minor fractures in the youngest to hip or other major fractures in the oldest age groups, irrespective of type and severity of initial fracture. In women and men, 45% and 38% of the subsequent hip or other major fractures, respectively, were preceded by initial minor fractures. The risk of subsequent fracture is high in all age groups. At older age, severe subsequent fracture types follow both clinically severe and minor initial incident fractures. Any fragility fracture in the elderly reflects the need for specific osteoporosis management to reduce further fracture risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2214-2221
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • fracture
  • osteoporotic fracture
  • population-based study
  • subsequent fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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