Hip Fractures May Be Prevented with Physical Activity

By EricComments Off on Hip Fractures May Be Prevented with Physical Activity

The dreaded incidence of a broken hip, which often marks the beginning of a general health decline in older adults, can be reduced or even prevented with moderate levels of physical activity, according to a new report.

The report, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (154: 60-68, 2001), shows that active women’s risk of hip fracture was 28 percent less than sedentary women, and active men had a 25 percent lower risk of breaking their hip than sedentary men. The report also finds that the risk for hip fracture seems to increase if a person becomes less active as they age.

The report examined data from three studies, which collectively included 13,183 women and 17,045 men, ages 20 to 93. Among all of the studies’ participants, 1,121 people had a hip fracture. Approximately 55 percent of the people performed moderate physical activity for two to four hours weekly. It was these participants who experienced the lowered risk of hip fractures as compared to the sedentary participants. However, being in the most physically active category did not further reduce the risk of hip fracture. The report also found that people who were active but became sedentary had twice the risk of hip fracture as people who stayed active. The researchers conclude, “Recommendation of regular physical activity and maintenance of physical activity during the aging process should become an essential part of strategies aimed at controlling the alarming increase in hip fractures worldwide.”

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