, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 342-345

Increasing age-adjusted incidence of hip fractures in Finland: The number and incidence of fractures in 1970–1991 and prediction for the future

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Abstract

Hip fractures in the elderly are a worldwide epidemic, and aging of the populations is increasing the burden of these fractures on the health care systems. To improve the knowledge of whether the number of hip fractures is increasing even more repidly than can be accounted for by the demographic changes only, all patients who were admitted to Finnish hospitals in 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1988, and 1991 for primary treatment of first hip fracture were selected from the National Hospital Discharge Register. There was a steady, average 7.7% annual increase in the total number of hip fractures in Finland during this period so that the number of fractures was 2239 in 1970 and 6071 in 1991. The proportion of patients aged 60 years or more increased steadily from 75% in 1970 to 91% in 1991. In 1991, 74% of the patients were women. Across the study period, the age-adjusted total incidence of hip fractures also increased in both women and men 50 years of age and over. This increase was more pronounced in men. Thus, the increasing incidence of hip fractures in Finland was not only due to the fact that the population was aging but also due to the increasing age-adjusted incidence. We conclude that the number of hip fractures in Finland is increasing more rapidly than can be accounted for by the demographic changes only and this will seriously challenge the Finnish health care system in the future.