The increased risk of death persisted for five years for all fractures and up to 10 years after a hip fracture, the study found.
Increased age and a second fracture also increased the risk of death, as did lesser strength in the quadriceps -- the large thigh muscle.
Dr. David Markel, chief of orthopedics at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich., said he believes most fractures indicate other underlying problems.
"As people age, having a fall or other things that lead to fracture should be looked at as a cue that there are other health issues. It's important to not minimize osteoporotic fractures overall, and we should use these events as an indicator for health intervention and prevention," he said.
This study also confirms what a lot of other research says, Markel noted: "Continued physical activity and a healthy lifestyle is good for you as you age."
Learn more about who's at risk for falls and learn ways to prevent falls and fractures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Jacqueline Center, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., associate professor and senior research officer, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia; David Markel, M.D., chief, orthopedics, Providence Hospital, Southfield, Mich.; Feb. 4, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association
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