Previous studies regarding the impact of cigarette smoking on the risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women have been inconsistent, suggesting different effects in different groups. The effect of alcohol intake on fracture risk is puzzling: moderate alcohol intake appears to increase bone density, and its association with hip fracture is not clear.
To assess the associations of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption with hip fracture risk among postmenopausal women, we conducted an analysis of a population-based case-control study from Sweden. Cases were postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 81 years, who sustained a hip fracture after minor trauma between October 1, 1993, and February 28, 1995; controls were randomly selected from a population-based register during the same period. A mailed questionnaire requesting information on lifestyle habits and medical history was used 3 months after the hip fracture for cases and simultaneously for controls. Age-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed by means of logistic regression.
Of those eligible, 1328 cases (82.5%) and 3312 controls (81.6%) responded. Compared with never smokers, current smokers had an increased risk of hip fracture (age-adjusted OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.41-1.95). Duration of smoking—particularly postmenopausal smoking—was more important than the amount smoked. Former smokers had a small increase in risk (age-adjusted OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.97-1.37) that decreased with the duration of cessation. The age-adjusted OR for women consuming alcohol was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.69-0.93).
Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for hip fracture among postmenopausal women; risk decreases after cessation. Alcohol consumption has a weak inverse association with risk.