Abdominal aortic calcification is associated with a higher risk of injurious fall-related hospitalizations in older Australian women

Abadi K. Gebre, Marc Sim, Alexander J. Rodríguez, Jonathan M. Hodgson, Lauren C. Blekkenhorst, Pawel Szulc, Nicola Bondonno, Kun Zhu, Catherine Bondonno, Douglas P. Kiel, John T. Schousboe, Richard L. Prince, Joshua R. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Web of Science)


Backgrounds and aims: Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) is associated with weaker grip strength, an established risk factor for fall-related hospitalizations. However, its association with long-term fall-related hospitalisations remains unknown. This study investigated the association between AAC and long-term fall-related hospitalizations in community-dwelling older women. Methods: Fall-related hospitalizations were obtained from linked data over 14.5-years in a prospective cohort of 1053 older women (mean age 75.0 ± 2.6 years). At baseline (1998/99), AAC was assessed from lateral spine images obtained using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and scored using a semi-quantitative method (AAC24, range 0–24). The presence of any AAC was defined by AAC24 ≥ 1. Results: Over 14.5-years, 413 (39.2%) women experienced a fall-related hospitalization. In the multivariable-adjusted model, each unit increase in baseline AAC24 was associated with a 3% increase in relative hazards for a fall-related hospitalization (HR 1.03 95%CI, 1.01 to 1.07). Compared to women with no AAC, women with any AAC had a 40% (HR 1.40 95%CI, 1.11 to 1.76) and 39% (HR 1.39 95%CI, 1.10 to 1.76) greater risk for fall-related hospitalizations in the minimal and multivariable-adjusted models, respectively. This relationship was not attenuated by including measures of muscle function such as grip strength and timed-up-and-go. Conclusions: The presence of AAC is associated with long-term fall-related hospitalizations risk, independent of muscle function, in community-dwelling older women. Concurrent assessment of AAC may be a simple and cost-effective way to identify older women at higher risk of falling as part of routine osteoporosis screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


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