Weight cycling and risk of forearm fractures: a 28-year follow-up of men in the Oslo Study.Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Apr 15; 167(8):1005-13.AJ
Weight cycling may lead to fractures in non-weight-bearing bone. The authors investigated the association between self-reported episodes of weight loss and forearm fracture in a cohort of elderly Norwegian men (n = 4,601; mean age = 71.6 years). Men initially examined in 1972-1973 as part of the population-based Oslo Study were reexamined in 2000. Weight and height were measured both times; histories of weight cycling (amount and frequency) and fracture and information on covariates were elicited by questionnaire. Irrespective of amount of weight loss, 35-43% of men reporting four or more weight loss episodes at ages 25-50 years had experienced a forearm fracture, as compared with 17-18% of men without weight loss episodes. For weight loss episodes that had occurred after age 50 years, associations were weaker. In an analysis limited to men whose last fracture had occurred after the weight loss episodes, the adjusted odds ratio for forearm fracture was 2.91 (95% confidence interval: 1.10, 7.64) for four or more weight loss episodes versus none. These findings suggest that weight cycling may predict forearm fracture in elderly men and indicate that the potentially harmful effects of weight cycling are related to the number of episodes occurring at ages 25-50 years.