University of Oulu

Exercise and risk factors of osteoporotic fractures in elderly women

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Author: Korpelainen, Raija1,2,3,4
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health Science and General Practice
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology
3Oulu University Hospital, Unit of General Practice
4Oulu Deaconess Institute, Department of Sports Medicine
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2005
Publish Date: 2005-08-16
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Great Hall of the Deaconess Institute of Oulu (Uusikatu 50) on August 26th, 2005, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Heikki Kröger
Professor Urho Kujala


The aim of this study was to examine lifestyle risk factors for low bone mass, falls and fractures, and to determine the effect of 30-month exercise trial on bone mass, balance, muscle strength and gait in elderly women. Reliability of an inclinometric method for assessing postural sway was evaluated.

Data on risk factors, falls and fractures were collected by questionnaires, and calcaneus and radius bone mass were measured from 1,222 women. Lifetime physical activity, low occupational physical activity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hormone replacement, thyroid hormone and thiazide use were associated with increased bone mass, while low current physical activity, high coffee intake and late menarche were associated with low bone mass in lean women. Factors associated with fractures were: low lifetime habitual physical activity, diabetes, living alone and calcaneum bone mass.

One hundred and sixty women with low femoral neck bone mass were randomly assigned to the exercise group (n = 84) or to the control group (n = 76). The outcomes included radius, proximal femur and calcaneus bone mass, postural sway, muscle strength, gait speed and endurance. Bone mineral density (BMD) at proximal femur decreased in the control group, while no change occurred in the exercise group. Mean trochanter bone mineral content (BMC) decreased more in the control group. The women in the exercise group improved their performance in walking speed and endurance, body sway and leg strength compared to the control group. There were six falls that resulted in fractures in the exercise group and 16 in the control group. The inclinometric method proved to be reliable.

In conclusion, lifestyle factors are determinants of bone mass in lean elderly women. Long-term exercise has a site-specific effect on BMC but not on BMD in elderly women. Weight-bearing exercise can modify risk factors for fractures, and may even prevent fall-related fractures in elderly women.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-7805-4
ISBN Print: 951-42-7804-6
Issue: 842
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2005. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.