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Fluoridation, fractures, and teeth

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:844

Fluoride does not cause fractures but its benefits may vary

  1. Hannu W Hausen (, professor
  1. Department of Community Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, PO Box 5281, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

    Papers pp 855, 860

    The benefits to teeth of fluoridating community water supplies are widely acknowledged.1 A comprehensive summary of the most recent evidence is included in the systematic review by McDonagh et al in this issue of the journal (p 855)2 but some concerns persist about possible adverse effects on bone.3 The paper by Phipps et al in this issue of the BMJ (p 860) introduces new evidence on the safety of fluoridating community water supplies.4 In their multicentre prospective study, Phipps et al found that ambulatory women aged 65 years or older who had been continuously exposed to fluoridated water for the past 20 years had higher bone mineral density at the lumbar spine and hip and a slightly lower risk of hip and vertebral fractures than women who had not been exposed to fluoridated water. The potential confounding effect of other factors known to be associated with fractures, such as oestrogen use, smoking, and body weight, was …

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