Feeling like your walking ability is limited is a good indicator of future fracture risk

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

Australian experts say feeling like your ability to walk is limited when covering less than a kilometre is a strong indicator you may be at risk of fracture sometime in the next five years. Their study of nearly a quarter of a million people found one in five reported a limitation in walking 1,000m or less, and that was linked with an increased risk of fracture of between 32% and 219% in the next five years. They also found walking limitation was a factor in around 60% of fracture cases. The findings suggest medical professionals should make sure they ask people about their walking limitations to help assess their risk of a future fracture, the authors say.

Journal/conference: JAMA Network Open

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.52675

Organisation/s: Garvan Institute of Medical Research, The University of New South Wales, The University of Sydney

Funder: This work was supported by grant APP 1108886 from the National Health & Medical Research
Council to Dr Center, grant 1137462 from the Medical Research Future Fund to Dr Center, and the Mrs Gibson and
Ernst Heine Family Foundation.

Media release

From: JAMA

Patient Self-Assessment of Walking Ability and Fracture Risk in Older Adults

About The Study: Self-reported walking limitations were associated with increased risk of fracture in this study of 238,000 participants age 45 and older. These findings suggest that walking ability should be sought by clinicians to identify high-risk candidates for further assessment.


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