Medicine (Northwest Academic Centre) - Research Publications

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    Rheumatoid arthritis and incident fracture in women: a case-control study
    Brennan, SL ; Toomey, L ; Kotowicz, MA ; Henry, MJ ; Griffiths, H ; Pasco, JA (BMC, 2014-01-09)
    BACKGROUND: To examine fracture incidence in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for an entire geographical region of south-eastern Australia. METHODS: Women aged 35 years and older, resident in the Barwon Statistical Division (BSD) and clinically diagnosed with RA 1994-2001 were eligible for inclusion as cases (n = 1,008). The control population (n = 172,422) comprised the entire female BSD population aged 35 years and older, excluding those individuals identified as cases. Incident fractures were extracted from the prospective Geelong Osteoporosis Study Fracture Grid. We calculated rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to compare the age-adjusted rate of fracture between the RA and non-RA populations, and used a chi-square test to compare proportions of fractures between women with and without RA, and a two-sided Mann-Whitney U-test to examine age-differences. RESULTS: Among 1,008 women with RA, 19 (1.9%) sustained a fracture, compared to 1,981 fractures sustained by the 172,422 women without RA (1.2%). Fracture rates showed a trend for being greater among women diagnosed with RA (age-adjusted RR 1.43, 95%CI 0.98-2.09, p = 0.08). Women with RA sustained vertebral fractures at twice the expected frequency, whereas hip fractures were underrepresented in the RA population (p < 0.001). RA status was not associated with the likelihood of sustaining a fracture at sites adjacent to joints most commonly affected by RA (p = 0.22). CONCLUSION: Given that women with RA have a greater risk of fracture compared to women without RA, these patients may be a suitable target population for anti-resorptive agents; however, larger studies are warranted.
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    Morbid obesity in women on the rise: an observational, population-based study
    Pasco, JA ; Brennan, SL ; Kotowicz, MA (BMC, 2013-04-02)
    BACKGROUND: The obesity epidemic is generally monitored by the proportion of the population whose body mass index (BMI) exceeds 30 kg/m2 but this masks the growing proportion of those who are morbidly obese. This issue is important as the adverse health risks amplify as the level of obesity increases. The aim of this study was to determine how the prevalence of morbid obesity (BMI  ≥  40.0 kg/m2) has changed over a decade among women living in south-eastern Australia. METHODS: BMI was determined for women in the Geelong Osteoporosis study (GOS) during two time periods, a decade apart. Height and weight were measured for 1,494 women (aged 20-94 years) during 1993-7 and for 1,076 women (aged 20-93 years), 2004-8, and the BMI calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2). Prevalence estimates were age-standardised to enable direct comparisons. RESULTS: Mean BMI increased from 26.0 kg/m2 (95%CI 25.7-26.3) in 1993-7, to 27.1 kg/m2 (95%CI 26.8-27.4) in 2004-8. During this period, the prevalence of morbid obesity increased from 2.5% to 4.2% and the standardised morbidity ratio for morbid obesity was 1.69 (95%CI 1.26-2.27). Increases in mean BMI and prevalence of morbid obesity were observed for all ages and across the socioeconomic spectrum. CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal that over a decade, there has been an increase in mean BMI among women residing in south-eastern Australia, resulting in a measurable increase in the prevalence of morbid obesity.