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Obesity is Associated With Lower Risk of Hip Fractures

sharma-obesity-pelvisThere is no shortage of health conditions that are either directly or indirectly related to excess body fat. Thus, it is of particular interest, when researchers find conditions for which the risk may actually be lower in obese individuals.

One such condition is hip fractures.

Thus, a meta-analysis by Tang and colleagues from Shanghai, published in PLoS One, demonstrates a substantially lower risk of hip fractures in individuals who are overweight and obese.

These findings were supported by an analysis of 15 prospective cohort studies involving over 3,000,000 participants.

Overall, adults with obesity had a 35% lower risk of sustaining hip fractures compared to normal weight individuals.

While obesity may well be a protective factor for hip fractures, unfortunately, obesity remains a significant risk factor for joint problems in both hips and knees.

So this finding may not be quite enough to write home about.

Banff, Alberta


  1. “There is no shortage of health conditions that are either directly or indirectly related to excess body fat.”
    So true. I do have a question about these health conditions. How is it determined that a “health condition” is caused or even related to/by obesity? Is it just a co-relation? Like “Umm your fat, ergo your problems are obesity related, lose 50 pounds and call me in the morning.” ?
    I ask because my grand-mother (non-obese) had T2 diabetes-per her Dr-genetic. My Mother (very thin) has T2 diabetes-per her Dr-genetic. I (obese) have T2 diabetes-per my Dr-Obesity related. How is that determined?
    Same with Asthma. Many in my family have it, for them it is attributed to allergies, exercise intolerance, genetics, etc. I developed it–“Obesity Related” even though after playing the food elimination game I found when I cut carbs I no longer have asthma attacks, or bronchitis, and my A1C is normal. Still my Dr always comments that losing weight would “cure” me.
    So again I have to ponder, how is it determined? Is weight loss really a “cure?” If it is because of obesity, why did a diet change eliminate the problems? I truly just don’t get it….

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    • Vic – this is a great question. We much differentiate between conditions that are “causally” linked to excess weight and those that are only “aggravated” by weight gain. The former often respond remarkably well to weight loss – often to the point of complete remission (e.g. type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.). The latter get better but do not fully disappear (e.g. hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease, etc.). What you describe is essentially a third category – ailments that co-exist in an obese individual (e.g. a food allergy) that has little to do with their weight problem (skinny people have food allergies too).

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  2. Thank-you for responding!

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