Distal radius fractures and risk of incident neurocognitive disorders in older adults: a retrospective cohort study

Joshua M. Baruth, Maria I. Lapid, Bart Clarke, Alexander Y. Shin, Elizabeth J. Atkinson, Jonas Eberhard, Guido Zavatta, Jörgen Åstrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Distal radius fractures (DRF) are associated with increased risk of subsequent fractures and physical decline in older adults. This study aims to evaluate the risk cognitive decline following DRF and potential for timely screening and intervention. Methods: A cohort of 1046 individuals 50–75 years of age with DRF were identified between 1995 and 2015 (81.5% female; mean age 62.5 [± 7.1] years). A control group (N = 1044) without history of DRF was matched by age, sex, and fracture date (i.e., index). The incidence of neurocognitive disorders (NCD) in relation to DRF/index was determined. Group comparisons were adjusted by age and comorbidity measured by the Elixhauser index. Results: The DRF group had a greater incidence of NCD compared to the control group (11.3% vs. 8.2%) with a 56% greater relative risk (HR = 1.56, 95% Cl: 1.18, 2.07; p = 0.002) after adjusting for age and comorbidity. For every 10-year age increase, the DRF group was over three times more likely to develop a NCD (HR = 3.23, 95% Cl: 2.57, 4.04; p < 0.001). Conclusion: DRF in adults ages 50 to 75 are associated with increased risk of developing neurocognitive disorders. DRF may represent a sentinel opportunity for cognitive screening and early intervention. Summary: Distal radius fractures (DRF) have been associated with greater risk of future fractures and physical decline. This study reports that DRF are also associated with greater risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in older adults. Timely intervention may improve early recognition and long-term outcomes for older adults at risk of cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2307-2314
Number of pages8
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Aging
  • Debility
  • Dementia
  • Falls
  • Wrist fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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