The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

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).

Record type: Article



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.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 18 October 2011
Published date: November 2011
Keywords: fractures, obesity, osteoporosis, postmenopausal
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine


Local EPrints ID: 201775
ISSN: 0002-9343
PURE UUID: a935dab4-46cd-4957-93d6-7cdd741dd5a6
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Nov 2011 10:24
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:12

Export record



Author: J.E. Compston
Author: N.B. Watts
Author: R. Chapurlat
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD
Author: S. Boonen
Author: S. Greenspan
Author: J. Pfeilschifter
Author: S. Silverman
Author: A. Diez-Perez
Author: R. Lindsay
Author: K.G. Saag
Author: J.C. Netelenbos
Author: S. Gehlbach
Author: F.H. Hooven
Author: J. Flahive
Author: J.D. Adachi
Author: M. Rossini
Author: A.Z. Lacroix
Author: C. Roux
Author: P.N. Sambrook
Author: E.S. Sirus

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.