Osteoporos Int. 2021 Apr 5. doi: 10.1007/s00198-021-05910-w.
Data linking solar radiation with fractures are lacking. We found that lower solar radiation was associated with higher hip fracture admission rates in men from Chile. This supports the idea that solar radiation, a surrogate of vitamin D, may be involved in the development of fractures in older population. INTRODUCTION : To explore the associations between solar radiation and latitude with hip fracture admission rates in people aged 65 years or older in Chile, the country with the greatest variation in solar radiation in the world.
Methods: In this ecological study, we investigated the associations between regional solar radiation and latitude with hospitalizations due to hip fracture in population aged 65 years or older, by reviewing national records between 2013 and 2018. We also evaluated the role of sociodemographic factors such as poverty, education, indigenous ethnicity, and rurality rates.
Results: Between 2013 and 2018, there were 44,328 admissions due to hip fracture in people aged 65 years or older; 77.5% were women and 65.1% were aged 80 years or older. The national admission rate was 389.3 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI: 382.4-396.2). The highest admission rate was registered in the Region IX (445.3 per 100,000, 95% CI: 398.3-492.4), which has the highest poverty rates, indigenous ethnicity rates, and rurality rates. We found a north-south increasing gradient of admission rates in men (β=1.5 [95% CI: 0 to 3], p=0.044) and a significant association between solar radiation and admission rates in men (β=-4.4 [95% CI: -8 to 0.8], p=0.02). Admission rates in men were also associated with sociodemographic variables such as poverty (β=2.4 [95% CI: 0 to 4.8], p=0.048) and rurality rates (β=1.2 [95% CI: 0.1 to 2.4], p=0.039).
Conclusion: Regional solar radiation and latitude were associated with hip fracture admission rates in men aged 65 years or older in Chile, with highest admission rates at higher latitudes and lower solar radiation.