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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 9/2009

Osteoporosis International 9/2009

The association between socioeconomic status and osteoporotic fracture in population-based adults: a systematic review

Osteoporosis International > Ausgabe 9/2009
S. L. Brennan, J. A. Pasco, D. M. Urquhart, B. Oldenburg, F. Hanna, A. E. Wluka



Although socioeconomic status (SES) is inversely related to most diseases, this systematic review showed a paucity of good quality data examining influences of SES on osteoporotic fracture to confirm this relationship. Further research is required to elucidate the issue and any underlying mechanisms as a necessary precursor to considering intervention implications.


The association between socioeconomic status (SES) and musculoskeletal disease is little understood, despite there being an inverse relationship between SES and most causes of morbidity. We evaluated evidence of SES as a risk factor for osteoporotic fracture in population-based adults.


Computer-aided search of Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsychINFO from January 1966 until November 2007 was conducted. Identified studies investigated the relationship between SES parameters of income, education, occupation, type of residence and marital status, and occurrence of osteoporotic fracture. A best-evidence synthesis was used to summarize the results.


Eleven studies were identified for inclusion, which suggested a lack of literature in the field. Best evidence analysis identified strong evidence for an association between being married/living with someone and reduced risk of osteoporotic fracture. Limited evidence exists of the relationship between occupation type or employment status and fracture, or for type of residence and fracture. Conflicting evidence exists for the relationship between osteoporotic fracture and level of income and education.


Limited good quality evidence exists of the role SES might play in osteoporotic fracture. Further research is required to identify whether a relationship exists, and to elucidate underlying mechanisms, as a necessary precursor to considering intervention implications.

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