Health-protective behaviours and risk of fall-related hip fractures: a population-based case-control study

Age Ageing. 2006 Sep;35(5):491-7. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afl056. Epub 2006 Jun 13.


Background: Fall-related hip fractures are one of the most common causes of disability and mortality in older age. The study aimed to quantify the relationship between lifestyle behaviours and the risk of fall-related hip fracture in community-dwelling older people. The purpose was to contribute evidence for the promotion of healthy ageing as a population-based intervention for falls injury prevention.

Methods: A case-control study was conducted with 387 participants, with a case-control ratio of 1:2. Incident cases of fall-related hip fracture in people aged 65 and over were recruited from six hospital sites in Brisbane, Australia, in 2003-04. Community-based controls, matched by age, sex and postcode, were recruited via electoral roll sampling. A questionnaire designed to assess lifestyle risk factors, identified as determinants of healthy ageing, was administered at face-to-face interviews.

Results: Behavioural factors which had a significant independent protective effect on the risk of hip fracture included never smoking [adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 0.33 (0.12-0.88)], moderate alcohol consumption in mid- and older age [AOR: 0.49 (0.25-0.95)], not losing weight between mid- and older age [AOR: 0.36 (0.20-0.65)], playing sport in older age [AOR: 0.49 (0.29-0.83)] and practising a greater number of preventive medical care [AOR: 0.54 (0.32-0.94)] and self-health behaviours [AOR: 0.56 (0.33-0.94)].

Conclusion: With universal exposures, clear associations and modifiable behavioural factors, this study has contributed evidence to reduce the major public health burden of fall-related hip fractures using readily implemented population-based healthy ageing strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Demography
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking