Low areal BMD (aBMD) is associated with increased risk of hip fracture, but many hip fractures occur in persons without low aBMD. Finite element (FE) analysis of QCT scans provides a measure of hip strength. We studied the association of FE measures with risk of hip fracture in older men. A prospective case-cohort study of all first hip fractures (n = 40) and a random sample (n = 210) of nonfracture cases from 3549 community-dwelling men ≥65 yr of age used baseline QCT scans of the hip (mean follow-up, 5.6 yr). Analyses included FE measures of strength and load-to-strength ratio and BMD by DXA. Hazard ratios (HRs) for hip fracture were estimated with proportional hazards regression. Both femoral strength (HR per SD change = 13.1; 95% CI: 3.9-43.5) and the load-to-strength ratio (HR = 4.0; 95% CI: 2.7-6.0) were strongly associated with hip fracture risk, as was aBMD as measured by DXA (HR = 5.1; 95% CI: 2.8-9.2). After adjusting for age, BMI, and study site, the associations remained significant (femoral strength HR = 6.5, 95% CI: 2.3-18.3; load-to-strength ratio HR = 4.3,95% CI: 2.5-7.4; aBMD HR = 4.4,95% CI: 2.1-9.1). When adjusted additionally for aBMD, the load-to-strength ratio remained significantly associated with fracture (HR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.6-6.1). These results provide insight into hip fracture etiology and demonstrate the ability of FE-based biomechanical analysis of QCT scans to prospectively predict hip fractures in men.
- Bone strength
- Fracture risk assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine