Associations of menopausal vasomotor symptoms with fracture incidence

Carolyn J. Crandall, Aaron Aragaki, Jane A. Cauley, Jo Ann E. Manson, Erin LeBlanc, Robert Wallace, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Andrea LaCroix, Mary Jo O'Sullivan, Mara Vitolins, Nelson B. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Context: Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are common. Whether VMS are associated with fracture incidence or bone mineral density (BMD) levels is unknown. Objective: This study aimed to examine associations of baseline VMS with fracture incidence and BMD. Design: This was a prospective observational study with mean (SD) followup of 8.2 (1.7) years (1993-2005). Setting: Forty United States clinical centers. Participants: We examined data from Women's Health Initiative Clinical Trial participants (n = 23 573) age 50-79 years not using menopausal hormonetherapy, and 4,867 participants of the BMD sub-study. Interventions: None. Main Outcome Measures: We measured baseline VMS, incident adjudicated fractures, and BMD (baseline, annual visits 1, 3, 6, and 9). Results: After adjustment for baseline age, body mass index, race/ethnicity, smoking, and education, the hazard ratio for hipfracture among women with baseline moderate/severe VMS (vs no VMS) was 1.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-2.64; P = .01). There was no association between VMS and vertebral fracture. VMS severity was inversely associated with BMD during followup (P= .004 for femoral neck, P= .045 for lumbar spine). In repeated measures models, compared with women who reported no VMS, women with moderate/severe VMS had 0.015 g/cm2 lower femoral neck BMD (95% CI, -0.025-0.005) and 0.016 g/cm2 lower lumbar spine BMD (95% CI, -0.032-0.004). Conclusions: Women with moderate/severe VMS have lower BMD and increased hipfracture rates. Elucidation of the biological mechanisms underlying these associations may inform the design of preventive strategies for at-risk women prior to occurrence of fracture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-534
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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