The answer to a simple question about a resident’s experience with falls “strongly” predicts their fracture risk, according to research from the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Investigators analyzed data from a bone density measurement registry including nearly 25,000 people aged 40 and older. They found that an individual’s relative risk of a major fracture increased along with the number of self-reported falls in the previous year. The risk was 49% higher among individuals who reported one fall, 74% higher in those who reported two falls and 2.6-fold higher for those who reported three or more falls, wrote William Leslie, M.D., and colleagues. 

Risk was independent of age, sex, body mass index, and baseline fracture probability. In addition, risk was found to be similar for most fractures but was slightly higher for hip fracture in individuals who reported three or more falls, the authors reported.

The study was published in Osteoporosis International.