Association between self-rated health and the risk of hip fracture and mortality in a cohort of older women during a 10-year follow-up

PLoS One. 2021 Mar 5;16(3):e0247924. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247924. eCollection 2021.


Fragility fracture of the hip is associated with reduced functional status and mortality. Poor self-rated health (SRH) might be such an indicator. Our aim was to study if SRH was associated with hip fractures and all-cause mortality within the next 10 years in community-dwelling older women. A population-based sample of 350 women aged between 69 and 79 years (median 72.4) assessed their SRH by answering the question "How would you rate your health right now" by putting a mark on a visual-analogue scale (0-100 mm). Information on hip fracture and mortality over the next 10 years was retrieved from health care registers. The association between SRH and hip fracture and all-cause mortality was tested with a Cox proportional hazards regression model. SRH was divided into low, intermediate, and high (reference) assessed SRH. During the study, 40 hip fractures and 72 deaths occurred. The median value of SRH was 62 mm (IQR 50-81 mm). The age-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for hip fracture was significantly higher in the group with low and intermediate SRH; HR: 3.17 (95% CI 1.25-8.01), and HR: 2.75 (95% CI 1.08-7.04), compared with high SRH. Adding bone mineral density (at the femoral neck) gave even greater risk. We did not find the hypothesized association between SRH and mortality. In our study, SRH indicated a higher risk of future hip fracture in older women. SRH might be a marker that could add information about the risk of hip fracture independently of bone mineral density.

Publication types

  • Pragmatic Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Hip Fractures / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Registries*
  • Risk Factors

Grants and funding

This study was funded by Region Stockholm, formerly Stockholm County Council. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.