TNFα is a proinflammatory cytokine that promotes osteoclastic bone resorption. We evaluated the association between a G-308A polymorphism (rs1800629) at the TNFA locus and osteoporosis phenotypes in 4306 older women participating in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) and structural geometry were measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and hip structural analysis. Incident fractures were confirmed by physician adjudication of radiology reports. Despite similar femoral neck BMD, women with the A/A genotype had greater subperiosteal width (P = 0.01) and endocortical diameter (P = 0.03) than those with the G/G genotype. The net result of these structural differences was that there was a greater distribution of bone mass away from the neutral axis of the femoral neck in women with the A/A genotype, resulting in greater indices of bone bending strength (cross-sectional moment of inertia: P = 0.004; section modulus: P = 0.003). Among 376 incident hip fractures during 12.1 yr of follow-up, a 22% decrease in the risk of hip fracture was seen per copy of the A allele (relative risk 0.78; 95% confidence interval 0.63, 0.96), which was not influenced by adjustments for potential confounding factors, BMD, or bone strength indices. The G-308A polymorphism was not associated with a reduced risk of other fractures. These results suggest a potential role of genetic variation in TNFα in the etiology of osteoporosis.