Smoking has been linked to a higher risk of bone fractures. Researchers have now identified certain lung-related factors that may help to predict an individual smoker's fracture risk. The findings are published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
In the study of 9,187 adults who currently or formerly smoked, there were 361 new hip fractures reported over a median follow-up of 7.4 years. Known risk factors associated with experiencing a hip fracture included older age, female sex, osteoporosis, previous spine and hip fracture, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Certain lung-specific risk factors--such as the presence of emphysema and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)--were also identified.
"We need to look beyond traditional risk factors when making osteoporosis screening and management decisions in our patients with COPD. A former smoker with frequent COPD exacerbations or significant emphysema on chest CT scan may be at greater risk of fracture than would be expected based on age or sex or other underlying comorbidities alone," said lead author Jessica Bon, MD, MS, of the University of Pittsburgh.