Background An early detection of memory loss may hold great value as a predictor for dementia. Dementia has already been associated with higher risk of hip fracture. Our aim was to examine the prospective association between self-reported memory-loss and the risk of subsequent hip fracture in the elderly.
Methods A population-based prospective cohort study design was used. Information on four self-perceived memory loss questions was obtained from questionnaires in 3 health surveys performed in Norway during the years 2000–2001. A total of 7154 men and 2462 women aged 67–77 years old were followed for a median of 7.8 years. Hip fracture information (n = 287 in men, and n = 237 in women) was obtained from NORHip (a database including all hip fractures treated in Norway from year 1994). Cox survival analysis was performed to estimate HR (hazard ratio).
Results The risk of sustaining a hip fracture were higher in those who reported to forget things they had just heard or read, with a HR of 1.52 (1.19--1.95) in men and HR 1.60 (1.23--2.07) in women after adjustment for relevant confounders. Women reporting to forget where they had put things also had higher risk of later hip fracture with a HR of 1.58 (1.20--2.07). Answering yes in both questions showed stronger association with sustaining a first hip fracture compared with those who gave a negative response in both questions, with a multivariate adjusted HR of 1.41 (IC 95 % 1.06--1.88) in men and 1.90 (IC 95 % 1.39--2.60) in women. The two last questions did not show a significant association with hip fracture.
Conclusions There was a higher risk of hip fracture in elderly who reported self-perceived memory loss. Due to the serious implications of sustaining a hip fracture, early detection of risk groups is important for preventive interventions.
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