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August 1987

Low Risk of Vertebral Fracture in Mexican American Women

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, and the Multipurpose Arthritis Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(8):1437-1439. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370080073015

• Ethnicity is important in assessing risk for osteoporotic fractures, and should be considered in decision-making about the use of prophylactic treatments. Few data are available, however, on fracture risks among Hispanic patients. To assess the risk of vertebral fracture in Mexican Americans, we determined the prevalence of vertebral fracture among 822 patients, aged 15 to 86 years, who underwent spinal roentgenography in a study of low-back pain. After adjusting for age, use of steroids, drug or alcohol abuse, and recent trauma, the odds ratio for Mexican American women compared with non-Hispanic whites was 0.55 (95% confidence interval, 0.32 to 0.95), indicating a substantially lower risk. These results are concordant with earlier data documenting a reduced risk of hip fracture among Mexican American women. Thus, recommendations for prophylactic treatments for osteoporosis may be different for Mexican Americans than for non-Hispanic whites.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1437-1439)