Risk of hospitalisation and death due to bone fractures after breast cancer: a registry-based cohort study

Br J Cancer. 2016 Nov 22;115(11):1400-1407. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2016.314. Epub 2016 Oct 4.


Background: Bone fractures may have an impact on prognosis of breast cancer. The long-term risks of bone fracture in breast cancer patients have not been thoroughly studied.

Methods: Poisson regression was used to investigate the incidence of hospitalisation due to bone fracture comparing women with and without breast cancer based on Swedish National registers. Cox regression was used to investigate the risk of being hospitalised with bone fracture, and subsequent risk of death, in a regional cohort of breast cancer patients.

Results: For breast cancer patients, the 5-year risk of bone fracture hospitalisation was 4.8% and the 30-day risk of death following a bone fracture hospitalisation was 2.0%. Compared with the general population, breast cancer patients had incidence rate ratios of 1.25 (95% CI: 1.23-1.28) and 1.18 (95% CI: 1.14-1.22) for hospitalisation due to any bone fracture and hip fracture, respectively. These ratios remained significantly increased for 10 years. Comorbidities (Charlson Comorbidity Index ⩾1) were associated with the risk of being hospitalised with bone fracture. Women taking aromatase inhibitors were at an increased risk as compared with women taking tamoxifen (HR=1.48; 95% CI: 0.98-2.22). Breast cancer patients hospitalised for a bone fracture showed a higher risk of death (HR=1.83; 95% CI: 1.50-2.22) compared with those without bone fracture.

Conclusions: Women with a previous breast cancer diagnosis are at an increased risk of hospitalisation due to a bone fracture, particularly if they have other comorbidities.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / mortality
  • Fractures, Bone / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Registries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology