Open Access Open Badges Research article

Abdominal fat and hip fracture risk in the elderly: The Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study

Nguyen D Nguyen1, Chatlert Pongchaiyakul12, Jacqueline R Center1, John A Eisman1 and Tuan V Nguyen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, UNSW, Australia

2 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Khon Kaen University, 40002 Thailand

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2005, 6:11  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-11

Published: 23 February 2005



Fat mass, which is a major component of body weight, is directly related to bone mineral density and reduced fracture risk. It is not known whether abdominal fat is associated with hip fracture. The present study was designed to examine the association between abdominal fat and hip fracture in women and men aged 60+ years.


This was a nested case-control study with one fracture case being matched with two controls of the same age. In women 63 cases were matched with 126 controls, and in men 26 cases were matched with 52 controls. Hip fracture was confirmed by X-ray and personal interview. Other measurements included weight, height, body mass index (BMI), abdominal fat, and femoral neck bone density (FNBMD). Conditional logistic regression model was used to analyse data.


The odds ratio of hip fracture risk associated with each 10% lower abdominal fat was 1.5 (95% CI, 1.1 to 2.1) in women and 1.2 (95% CI, 0.7 to 2.0) in men. However after adjusting for FNBMD or body weight, the abdominal fat-fracture association was no longer statistically significant. Similarly, body weight and BMI was each significantly associated with hip fracture risk (in women), but after taking with account the effect of FNBMD, the association become statistically non-significant.


Lower abdominal fat was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in elderly women, but the association was not independent of FNBMD or weight. The contribution of abdominal fat to hip fracture risk is likely to be modest.