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March 2, 2005

Homocysteine and Fracture Prevention

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

JAMA. 2005;293(9):1121-1122. doi:10.1001/jama.293.9.1121

Osteoporotic fractures are a major health problem in Western society and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality and substantial economic costs.1 Because the number of fractures will increase throughout the world as the population ages, prevention of fractures is becoming increasingly important. Recently, studies have identified a new and potentially modifiable risk factor for osteoporotic fracture—a mildly elevated circulating homocysteine level.2,3 These epidemiological studies showed that a relatively high homocysteine level predicts a higher fracture risk but they did not establish a causal relationship. The question remained whether the increase in fracture risk was due to homocysteine itself, or to other covarying factors.

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