Height Loss in Old Age and Fracture Risk Among Men in Late Life: A Prospective Cohort Study

for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


To assess the association of height loss in old age with subsequent risk of hip and any clinical fracture in men late in life while accounting for the competing risk of mortality, we used data from 3491 community-dwelling men (mean age 79.2 years). Height loss between baseline and follow-up (mean 7.0 years between examinations) was categorized as <1 cm (referent group), ≥1 to <2 cm, ≥2 to <3 cm, and ≥3 cm. Men were contacted every 4 months after the follow-up examination to ask about fractures (confirmed by radiographic reports) and ascertain vital status (deaths verified by death certificates). Competing risk methods were used to estimate absolute probabilities of fracture outcomes by height loss category and calculate adjusted risks of fracture outcomes by height loss. During an average of 7.8 years, 158 (4.5%) men experienced a hip fracture and 1414 (40.5%) died before experiencing this event. The absolute 10-year probability of fracture events accounting for the competing risk of death increased with greater height loss. For example, the hip fracture probability was 2.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9–3.8%) among men with height loss <1 cm increasing to 11.6% (95% CI 8.0–16.0%) among men with height loss ≥3 cm. After adjustment for demographics, fall history, multimorbidity, baseline height, weight change, and femoral neck bone mineral density and considering competing mortality risk, men with height loss ≥3 cm versus <1 cm had a nearly twofold (subdistribution hazard ratio [HR] = 1.94, 95% CI 1.06–3.55) higher risk of hip fracture and a 1.4-fold (subdistribution HR = 1.42, 95% CI 1.05–1.91) increased risk of any clinical fracture. Height loss ≥3 cm in men during old age was associated with higher subsequent risk of clinical fractures, especially hip fractures, even after accounting for the competing risk of death and traditional skeletal and non-skeletal risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1076
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number6
Early online dateFeb 22 2021
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research under the following grant numbers: U01 AG027810, U01 AG042124, U01 AG042139, U01 AG042140, U01 AG042143, U01 AG042145, U01 AG042168, U01 AR066160, and UL1 TR000128. This article is also the result of work supported with resources and use of facilities of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. The funding agencies had no direct role in the conduct of the study; the collection, management, analyses, and interpretation of the data; or preparation or approval of the manuscript. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government. MrOS data are available to the public via the MrOS Online website ( https://mrosonline.ucsf.edu/ ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)




Dive into the research topics of 'Height Loss in Old Age and Fracture Risk Among Men in Late Life: A Prospective Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this