Objective This study aimed to investigate the incidence rates and predictors of lower limb fractures in a general Japanese population. Methods NIPPON DATA is a nationwide, long-term, prospective cohort study of individuals who participated in the National Cardiovascular Survey Japan and the National Nutrition Survey in 1990. Overall, 3,134 individuals (1,827 women, 1,307 men) who participated in follow-up assessments in 1995, 2000, and/or 2006 were included in the present analysis. The outcomes of this study were lower limb fractures (including proximal femur fractures). Results The mean age at baseline was 63.8 years in women and 63.1 years in men. The average body mass index (BMI) was 23.3 kg/m2 in women and 22.9 kg/m2 in men. During a mean follow- up of 12.1 years, 271 total lower limb fractures were observed. In women, older age, lower BMI, and less intake of vegetables were associated with increased risks of proximal femur fractures. With regard to the outcome of total lower limb fractures, less intake of vegetables and regular exercise were significant predictors in women. Calcium intake was not significantly associated with proximal femur or total lower limb fractures. There were no significant predictors of proximal femur or total lower limb fractures in men, except for age. Conclusions Aging was a significant risk factor for proximal femur and total lower limb fractures in both men and women. With regard to modifiable risk factors, low BMI and low intake of vegetables were associated with increased risks of proximal femur and/or total lower limb fractures in the general population of Japanese women.
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