• Katz, Barry (PI)
  • Slemenda, Charles (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The relationship between fluoride and skeletal strength and fractures is
poorly understood. Recent ecologic studies have suggested that exposure
to fluoridated water supplies may be associated with an increased
frequency of hip fractures, but such studies have considerable potential
for error in assessing fluoride exposure. Few Americans consume only
beverages from a single water supply for their lifetime; additionally,
fluoride has only been added to water supplies in the U.S. since the late
1940s, and widespread fluoridation only became common in the 1960s. Most
Americans included in these studies were only exposed to fluoride late in
life. However, these studies together with recent information from
therapeutic trials using sodium fluoride have raised the possibility that
fluoride exposure may increase fracture risk (excluding vertebral
fractures). To address this issue we propose a study of fluoride exposure
and fractures in a population with long-term stable exposures to fluoride.
In rural China there is very little population mobility, and
correspondingly little exposure to fluoride from sources outside the home
village. We propose to: l) identify 7,500 Chinese in 50-60 villages with
well-defined, long-term exposures to fluoride in a range of concentrations
bracketing l ppm, the 'optimal' level used in the U.S. for fluoridation of
community water supplies; 2) assess (and confirm with x-rays and medical
records) the adult fracture histories of these subjects, and determine the
relationship between fracture prevalence at the village level and long-
term fluoride exposure; 3) measure calcium intake, physical activity
(primarily labor), and other factors potentially associated with both
fluoride exposure and fractures.
Effective start/end date9/30/948/31/00


  • National Institutes of Health: $219,530.00
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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