Abdominal aortic calcification and risk of fracture among older women - The SOF study

for the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Data concerning the link between severity of abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) and fracture risk in postmenopausal women are discordant. This association may vary by skeletal site and duration of follow-up. Our aim was to assess the association between the AAC severity and fracture risk in older women over the short- and long term. This is a case-cohort study nested in a large multicenter prospective cohort study. The association between AAC and fracture was assessed using Odds Ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for vertebral fractures and using Hazard Risks (HR) and 95%CI for non-vertebral and hip fractures. AAC severity was evaluated from lateral spine radiographs using Kauppila's semiquantitative score. Severe AAC (AAC score 5. +) was associated with higher risk of vertebral fracture during 4. years of follow-up, after adjustment for confounders (age, BMI, walking, smoking, hip bone mineral density, prevalent vertebral fracture, systolic blood pressure, hormone replacement therapy) (OR = 2.31, 95%CI: 1.24-4.30, p < 0.01). In a similar model, severe AAC was associated with an increase in the hip fracture risk (HR = 2.88, 95%CI: 1.00-8.36, p = 0.05). AAC was not associated with the risk of any non-vertebral fracture. AAC was not associated with the fracture risk after 15. years of follow-up. In elderly women, severe AAC is associated with higher short-term risk of vertebral and hip fractures, but not with the long-term risk of these fractures. There is no association between AAC and risk of non-vertebral-non-hip fracture in older women. Our findings lend further support to the hypothesis that AAC and skeletal fragility are related.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) provides support under the following grant numbers: R01 AG005407 , R01 AR35582 , R01 AR35583 , R01AR35584 , R01 AG005394 , R01 AG027574 , R01 AG027576 , and R01 AR41398 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.


  • Abdominal aortic calcification
  • Bone mineral density
  • Elderly women
  • Fragility fracture


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