Wade SW, Strader C, Fitzpatrick LA, Anthony MS. Sex- and age-specific incidence of non-traumatic fractures in selected industrialized countries. Arch Osteoporosis. 2012;7(1-2):219-27.

Various methodological approaches have estimated the incidence of osteoporosis-related fractures, making comparisons difficult. This study estimated the incidence rates of non-traumatic fractures in 12 countries using standard definitions. Applying these rates to the 2010 population figures of these countries, a total of 5.2 million non-traumatic fractures were estimated, mostly in women.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to estimate annual country-, sex-, and age-specific incidence of non-traumatic hip, vertebral, and other fractures for women aged ≥50 and men ≥60 years and the number of fractures expected in 12 countries based on these incidence rates.

METHODS: Electronically indexed medical literature and relevant web sites were reviewed to identify studies reporting age- and sex-specific fracture incidence rates to obtain estimates of the proportion of fractures considered to be non-traumatic and to gather relevant census data. From these data, we extrapolated to estimate the number of fractures in 12 countries in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

Annual non-traumatic hip fracture incidence rates were highest for women in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. In women, vertebral fractures were more common than hip fractures. The incidence of vertebral fractures was highest among Scandinavian and Canadian women. In men, Scandinavians had the highest incidence of hip fractures, while Australian men had the highest incidence of vertebral fractures. Hip and vertebral fracture incidence increased steeply with age for both women and men. Age appears to exert less influence on the incidence of fractures at sites other than hip and vertebrae. In 2010, 5.2 million non-traumatic fractures were expected in the 12 countries studied, of which 2.8 million were at the hip or spine. Women accounted for most of the total non-traumatic fracture burden (77 %).

CONCLUSIONS: Non-traumatic fractures pose a significant burden, affecting millions of women and men in countries around the world each year.

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