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Title: Risk assessment for osteoporotic fractures among men and women from a prospective population study : the EPIC-Norfolk study
Author: Moayyeri, Alireza
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 5682
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2012
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Osteoporotic fractures are a major and increasing clinical and public health concern internationally. Identification of individuals at high risk for fragility fractures may enable us to target preventive interventions more effectively. In this thesis, I aimed to evaluate novel risk factors for osteoporosis and develop a fracture risk assessment model among the middle-aged and older people. I used data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk study, which is a large population-based prospective study started in 1993. About 25,000 men and women were assessed at baseline and about 15,000 of them returned for a second examination 4 years later. All participants are followed up to the present for clinical events including fractures. My work is in two parts. For the first part, I examined the risk of fracture associated with some novel or less well studied risk factors. These risk factors included change in height over time, respiratory function, physical activity and body fat mass. We found that men and women with annual height loss >0.5 cm are at increased risk of hip and any fracture (relative risk=1.9 (95% CI 1.3-2.7) per cm/year height loss). One litre lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) was associated with a 2-fold risk of hip fracture in men and women. We also observed a non-linear association, independent of body mass index, between increasing body fat mass and lower fracture risk in women but not in men. I performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies evaluating the association between physical activity and hip fractures. Using a new validated questionnaire in EPIC-Norfolk, we observed varying relationships between physical activity in different domains of life and fracture risk in men and women. For the second part of the thesis, I developed a biostatistical model to calculate 10-year risk of developing a fracture among EPIC-Norfolk study participants. This model incorporates clinical and radiological assessments known to be associated with fractures and can be extended to other risk factors assessed in other prospective cohorts. This helps clinicians to achieve a better estimate of the prospective risk of fracture in their patients. I applied this model to compare the predictive value of two different clinical assessment methods for osteoporosis, namely dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and quantitative ultrasound (QUS). We found that that the predictive power of QUS is comparable to, and independent of, predictive power of DXA. In summary, my studies have added to our knowledge about some novel and easy-to-use risk factors of osteoporosis and proposed a practical method to merge and utilise data from different risk factors for estimation of fracture risk in individuals.
Supervisor: Khaw, Kay-Tee Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Osteoporosis ; Risk assessment ; Observational studies ; Meta-analysis ; Survival analysis