Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

11 Factors Help ID Hip Fracture Risk

Researchers Design Survey to Predict Fracture Risk in Older Women
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 27, 2007 -- A new diagnostic model could help identify older women at risk for hip fractures, even when those women show little evidence of osteoporosis.

Bone density scanning is the best single test for identifying hip fracture risk in older people. But by some estimates, more than half of hip fractures occur among those who do not meet the diagnostic criteria for osteoporosis.

In an effort to address this, University of California at Davis researcher John Robbins, MD, and colleagues developed an 11-question survey designed to predict a postmenopausal (aged 50-79) woman's five-year risk of suffering a hip fracture. They did this by evaluating data from almost 95,000 older women participating in the Women's Health Initiative, an ongoing national health study.

The survey is available in the form of an Internet calculator, which can be found at the web site of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The factors evaluated in the calculator to predict risk of hip fracture within five years were:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Race/ethnic group
  • General health
  • Physical activity
  • Personal history of a fracture at age 55 or older
  • Parent history of a fracture after age 40
  • Current smoking
  • Current corticosteroid use
  • Treated diabetes

The study is published in the Nov. 28 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Bone density scanning is important, but that is just one dimension of hip fracture risk," Robbins tells WebMD. "About half of fractures can be explained by low bone density and about half cannot. That is why we need other ways to evaluate risk."

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing