Obesity is not protective against fracture in postmenopausal women: GLOW

Compston, J.E., Watts, N.B., Chapurlat, R., Cooper, C., Boonen, S., Greenspan, S., Pfeilschifter, J., Silverman, S., Diez-Perez, A., Lindsay, R., Saag, K.G., Netelenbos, J.C., Gehlbach, S., Hooven, F.H., Flahive, J., Adachi, J.D., Rossini, M., Lacroix, A.Z., Roux, C., Sambrook, P.N. and Sirus, E.S. Glow Investigators (2011) Obesity is not protective against fracture in postmenopausal women: GLOW The American Journal of Medicine, 124, (11), pp. 1043-1050. (doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.06.013). (PMID:22017783).


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This was a multinational, prospective, observational, population-based study carried out by 723 physician practices at 17 sites in 10 countries. A total of 60,393 women aged ?55 years were included. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires that covered domains that included patient characteristics, fracture history, risk factors for fracture, and anti-osteoporosis medications.


Body mass index (BMI) and fracture history were available at baseline and at 1 and 2 years in 44,534 women, 23.4% of whom were obese (BMI ?30 kg/m2). Fracture prevalence in obese women at baseline was 222 per 1000 and incidence at 2 years was 61.7 per 1000, similar to rates in nonobese women (227 and 66.0 per 1000, respectively). Fractures in obese women accounted for 23% and 22% of all previous and incident fractures, respectively. The risk of incident ankle and upper leg fractures was significantly higher in obese than in nonobese women, while the risk of wrist fracture was significantly lower. Obese women with fracture were more likely to have experienced early menopause and to report 2 or more falls in the past year. Self-reported asthma, emphysema, and type 1 diabetes were all significantly more common in obese than nonobese women with incident fracture. At 2 years, 27% of obese women with incident fracture were receiving bone protective therapy, compared with 41% of nonobese and 57% of underweight women.


Our results demonstrate that obesity is not protective against fracture in postmenopausal women and is associated with increased risk of ankle and upper leg fractures.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.06.013
ISSNs: 0002-9343 (print)
Keywords: fractures, obesity, osteoporosis, postmenopausal
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine
ePrint ID: 201775
Date :
Date Event
18 October 2011e-pub ahead of print
November 2011Published
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2011 10:24
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 01:23
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/201775

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