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Farmers are not just the backbone of a nation, they may have stronger hips too

Researchers find that male Swedish farmers have a significantly lower risk of hip fracture, possibly due to their high levels of physical activity

International Osteoporosis Foundation

A team of UK and Swedish researchers has released the findings of a new study which assessed the hip fracture risk of farmers in Sweden.

Sweden is one of the few countries which tracks hip fractures through a national registry. It is therefore possible to assess how hip fracture risk across the country varies according to occupation, economic status, level of education, latitude, and urban versus rural residence. Although hip fracture risk is known to be correlated to physical activity, that's one of the variables, among others, which the registries can't track.

The researchers therefore focused on farming, an occupation which is characterized by regular, long-term outdoor physical activity. Looking at the hip fracture incidence of all men and women aged 40 years or more in Sweden between 1987-2002, they found that there were 100,083 individuals who sustained a hip fracture. Of these, 4, 175 were farmers.

For both men and women, the hip fracture risk rose with age, low income, low education, higher latitude, and urban location. For women, being a farmer was not associated with a significant difference in hip fracture risk.

For male farmers the risk of a hip fracture was 14% lower compared to other occupations, adjusted for age. When also adjusted for rural status of residence, the risk reduction was still 15% lower. However, when also adjusted for income, education and latitude the effect was even more marked -- at 39% lower risk.

Lead author, Dr. Helena Johansson of the Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Sheffield Medical School, UK, stated, "We need to be concerned about hip fractures as they are the most serious and disabling osteoporosis-related fractures. Given the many, complex factors that affect fracture risk, it is not possible to pinpoint a single variable that is associated with lower hip fracture risk. However, these findings are interesting in that they suggest that a lifetime of outdoor, physical activity may be a positive factor when it comes to hip fracture risk. "



OC 31 Swedish Farmers Have Lower Risk for Hip Fracture Than Expected From Economic Status, Education and Location Abstract book: WCO-IOF-ESCEO World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, 14 -17 April 2016, Malaga, Spain Osteoporosis International, Volume 27/ Suppl 1/ 2016

About World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis & Musculoskeletal Diseases (WCO-IOF-ESCEO 2016):

Held jointly by IOF and ESCEO, the Congress is taking place in Malaga, Spain from April 14-17,2016. It is the world's largest annual forum for the presentation of clinical research and new advances in the prevention and management of bone, muscle and joint disorders, including sarcopenia and frailty. The next Congress will be held in Florence, Italy from March 23-26, 2017. For complete information visit #OsteoCongress

About IOF:

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world's largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members, including committees of scientific researchers, leading companies, as well as more than 234 patient, medical and research societies in 99 locations, work together to make bone, joint and muscle health a worldwide heath care priority. / /

About ESCEO:

The European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO) is a non-profit organization, dedicated to a close interaction between clinical scientists dealing with rheumatic disorders, pharmaceutical industry developing new compounds in this field, regulators responsible for the registration of such drugs and health policy makers, to integrate the management of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis within the comprehensive perspective of health resources utilization. The objective of ESCEO is to provide practitioners with the latest clinical and economic information, allowing them to organize their daily practice, in an evidence-based medicine perspective, with a cost-conscious perception.

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