The role of socioeconomic status in hip fracture incidence is unclear. In a diverse population of elderly, higher education was found to be associated with lower, whereas living alone, compared to being married/cohabiting, with higher hip fracture risk. Educational level and marital status may contribute to hip fracture risk.
INTRODUCTION: The evidence on the association between socioeconomic status and hip fracture incidence is limited and inconsistent. We investigated the potential association of education and marital status with hip fracture incidence in older individuals from Europe and USA.
METHODS: A total of 155,940 participants (79 % women) aged 60 years and older from seven cohorts were followed up accumulating 6456 incident hip fractures. Information on education and marital status was harmonized across cohorts. Hip fractures were ascertained through telephone interviews/questionnaires or through record linkage with registries. Associations were assessed through Cox proportional hazard regression adjusting for several factors. Summary estimates were derived using random effects models.
RESULTS: Individuals with higher education, compared to those with low education, had lower hip fracture risk [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.84, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.72-0.95]. Respective HRs were 0.97 (95 % CI 0.82-1.13) for men and 0.75 (95 % CI 0.65-0.85) for women. Overall, individuals living alone, especially those aged 60-69 years, compared to those being married/cohabiting, tended to have a higher hip fracture risk (HR = 1.12, 95 % CI 1.02-1.22). There was no suggestion for heterogeneity across cohorts (P heterogeneity > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The combined data from >150,000 individuals 60 years and older suggest that higher education may contribute to lower hip fracture risk. Furthermore, this risk may be higher among individuals living alone, especially among the age group 60-69 years, when compared to those being married/cohabiting.
2015. Vol. 26, no 6, 1733-1746 p.