We also censored women at the first occurrence of any fracture (to account for the increased risk of subsequent fracture reported among women with a prior fracture ). Falls are the most common reason for a fracture in the age group examined . On a follow-up questionnaire about 7 years after recruitment, women RO4929097 ic50 who reported having had a fracture
were asked how it occurred; over 85% of ankle, wrist, and hip fractures were associated with a fall. The fracture site associated with a fall is strongly dependent on the site of impact and the orientation of the fall  and . Increased adiposity cushions the impact force for some bones, and this may be particularly relevant for hip fracture . However, ankle fractures usually occur following rotation of the talus within the mortise, and higher torques are likely to result from twisting of the ankle in heavier than in lighter women . Peripheral fat is the most important source of endogenous estrogen in postmenopausal women  and  and this increases bone mineral density . In this cohort, the more selleck compound obese women were, the more often they fell,  hence our results suggest that for ankle fracture, the effects of falls associated with obesity outweigh any beneficial effects of obesity on bone mineral density. Physical activity has been hypothesised to have multiple opposing effects on fracture risk. It may
decrease fracture risk, by maintaining bone mineral density and reducing bone loss,  and  and may protect against falls through improvement Exoribonuclease in balance, coordination and muscular strength . However, during physical activity the individual may be at an increased risk of falls and injury, 
and different types of activities may affect fracture risk in different ways. Physical activity had little influence on the risk of ankle and wrist fractures in our study, and it seems plausible that the competing factors associated with physical activity which act to increase and decrease the risk of fractures may balance each other out for these fracture types. Fracture risk is increased among frail individuals with multiple morbidities; these individuals may also participate in less physical activity and may even have a low BMI as a result of their illness. Despite adjustment for a number of relevant illnesses and the consistency of findings following omission of the first 3 years of follow-up, we cannot exclude the possibility that part of the higher risk of hip fracture associated with physical inactivity and low BMI may be due to reverse causation. In conclusion, risk factors for ankle, wrist, and hip fractures differ. Overweight and obese women were at a lower risk of wrist and particularly of hip fracture but a higher risk of ankle fracture when compared with lean and normal weight women. Physical inactivity was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture, but had little association with ankle or wrist fracture.