The Association of Lipids and Lipoproteins with Hip Fracture Risk: The Cardiovascular Health Study



      It is uncertain if lipids or lipoproteins are associated with osteoporotic fractures. In this study, incident hip fracture risk according to conventional lipid levels and lipoprotein levels and sizes was examined.


      We followed 5832 participants aged ≥65 years from the Cardiovascular Health Study for hip fracture for a mean of 13.5 (SD 5.7) years. Standard enzymatic methods were used to determine lipid levels (ie, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol [HDL-c], low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol [LDL-c], and triglycerides). Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to measure lipoprotein fractions (ie, very-low-density lipoprotein-particle [VLDL-P], low-density lipoprotein-particle [LDL-P], high-density lipoprotein-particle [HDL-P]) in a subset of 1849 participants.


      We documented 755 incident hip fractures among women (1.19 fractures per 100 participant years [95% confidence interval, 1.04, 1.35]) and 197 among men (0.67 fractures per 100 participant years [95% CI, 0.41, 1.10]) over an average follow-up. HDL-c and LDL-c levels had statistically significant nonlinear U-shaped relationships with hip fracture risk (HDL-c, P = .009; LDL-c, P = .02). Triglyceride levels were not significantly associated with hip fracture risk. In fully adjusted conjoint models, higher VLDL-P concentration (hazard ratio [HR] per 1 standard deviation [SD] increment 1.47 [1.13, 1.91] and size [HR per 1 SD increment 1.24 [1.05, 1.46]) and higher high-density lipoprotein particle size (HR per 1 SD increment 1.81 [1.25, 2.62]) were all associated with higher hip fracture risk.


      Lipids and lipoproteins are associated with hip fracture risk in older adults. The associations are complex. Mechanistic studies are needed to understand these findings.


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