Inflammatory Markers and the Risk of Hip and Vertebral Fractures in Men: the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS)

Jane A. Cauley, Kamil E. Barbour, Stephanie L. Harrison, Yona K. Cloonan, Michelle E. Danielson, Kristine E. Ensrud, Howard A. Fink, Eric S. Orwoll, Robert Boudreau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Cytokines play major roles in regulating bone remodeling, but their relationship to incident fractures in older men is uncertain. We tested the hypothesis that men with higher concentrations of pro-inflammatory markers have a higher risk of fracture. We used a case-cohort design and measured inflammatory markers in a random sample of 961 men and in men with incident fractures including 120 clinical vertebral, 117 hip, and 577 non-spine fractures; average follow-up 6.13 years (7.88 years for vertebral fractures). We measured interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), soluble receptors (SR) of IL-6 (IL-6SR) and TNF (TNFαSR1 and TNFαSR2), and IL-10. The risk of non-spine, hip, and clinical vertebral fracture was compared across quartiles (Q) of inflammatory markers using Cox proportional hazard models with tests for linear trend. In multivariable-adjusted models, men with the highest (Q4) TNFa cytokine concentrations and their receptors had a 2.0–4.2-fold higher risk of hip and clinical vertebral fracture than men with the lowest (Q1). Results were similar for all non-spine fractures, but associations were smaller. There was no association between CRP and IL-6SR and fracture. Men in the highest Q of IL-10 had a 49% lower risk of vertebral fracture compared with men in Q1. Among men with ≥3 inflammatory markers in the highest Q, the hazard ratio (HR) for hip fractures was 2.03 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11–3.71) and for vertebral fracture 3.06 (1.66–5.63). The HRs for hip fracture were attenuated by 27%, 27%, and 15%, respectively, after adjusting for appendicular lean mass (ALM), disability, and bone density, suggesting mediating roles. ALM also attenuated the HR for vertebral fractures by 10%. There was no association between inflammation and rate of hip BMD loss. We conclude that inflammation may play an important role in the etiology of fractures in older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2129-2138
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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