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21-06-2010 | Bone health | Article

Hip fracture rate falling in USA



MedWire News: The age-adjusted rate of hip fracture fell in the USA between 1990 and 2006, reveal results published in the journal Age and Aging.

Judy Stevens and Rose Anne Rudd, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, examined data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) which includes information on around 270,000 patients attending around 500 hospitals in the USA

Analysis showed that the overall rate of hip fracture fell from 54.6 to 48.8 cases per 10,000 men between 1990 and 2006, with a significant decrease found for men aged 85 years and older.

The overall rate of hip fracture in women fell from 108.4 to 91.7 cases per 10,000 women, with significant decreases for women aged 75–84 years, and 85 years and older.

Of note, the rate of hip fracture in women aged 85 years and older peaked in 1997 and fell thereafter.

The researchers suggest this may have been due to food shortages and poor nutrition in the 1930s when the oldest group of women were young adults, resulting in low peak bone mass and increased susceptibility to hip fracture. Improvements in nutrition thereafter may have protected the later groups of women against hip fracture.

Acknowledging the rapidly aging population of the USA, with individuals aged 85 years and older the fastest growing age group, Stevens and Rudd emphasize that primary and secondary prevention against falls and hip fracture will be essential as the absolute rate of hip fracture increases.

“For high-risk older men and women, hip fracture prevention involves increased osteoporosis screening and treatment,” they write.

“For the general older adult population, prevention must include education about osteoporosis risk factors, the value of adequate dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D and the importance of weight bearing exercise; access to accessible and affordable BMD screening program; and dissemination and implementation of effective community-based fall prevention programs.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lynda Williams

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