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Foot problems as risk factors of fractures

This case-control study examines whether foot problems are risk factors of fractures of five sites among people aged 45 years or older at six Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in northern California. From October 1996 to May 2001, interviewers collected information through a standardized questionnaire. Incident cases of distal forearm (n = 1,000), foot (n = 827), proximal humerus (n = 448), shaft of the tibia/fibula (n = 168), and pelvis (n = 172) fractures and 1,913 controls from the same medical centers were included. After adjustment for potential confounders and for each additional foot problem, the odds of a foot fracture increased by 8% (adjusted odds ratio = 1.08, 95% confidence interval: 1.03, 1.13). In contrast, each additional foot problem was associated with a reduction in the odds of a forearm fracture (adjusted odds ratio = 0.93, 95% confidence interval: 0.89, 0.98). In general, foot problems were not related to fractures of other sites, although diabetes, which may result in foot problems, increased the odds of a proximal humerus fracture (adjusted odds ratio = 1.65, 95% confidence interval: 1.20, 2.26). If these findings are supported by data from other studies, preventive measures to retard the development of foot problems could reduce the incidence of foot fractures.

Authors: Keegan TH; Kelsey JL; Sidney S; Quesenberry CP Jr

Am J Epidemiol. 2002 May 15;155(10):926-31.

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