HealthDay News — Patients with abdominal obesity may be at increased risk of hip fracture, according to a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

“The question as to whether abdominal obesity has an adverse effect on hip fracture remains unanswered,” noted Anne Johanne Søgaard, PhD, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues.

To investigate the association between waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-hip ration, and body mass index with incident hip fracture, the researchers conducted a prospective study. Data were collected for 19,918 women and 23,061 men, aged 60 to 79 years, who were followed for a median of 8.1 years.

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From electronic health registers, the researchers identified 1,498 hip fractures in women and 889 in men. There was a decrease in the risk of hip fracture with increasing body mass index, plateauing in obese men.

After adjustment for body mass index and other potential confounders, there was a correlation for higher waist circumference and higher waist-hip ratio with increased risk of hip fracture.

Compared with women in the lowest tertile of waist circumference, those in the highest tertile had an 86% increased risk of hip fracture; in men, the corresponding increased risk was 100%. Particularly in men, the risk of hip fracture was increased considerably with lower body mass index combined with abdominal obesity.

“In view of the increasing prevalence of obesity and the number of older people suffering osteoporotic fractures in Western societies, our findings have important clinical and public health implications,” concluded the investigators.


  1. Søgaard AJ et al. Journal of Internal Medicine. 2015; doi: 10.1111/joim.12230