, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 136-139

Hip Fracture Incidence in East and West Germany: Reassessement Ten Years after Unification

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The rising incidence of hip fractures is of world wide concern. In addition to the demographically aging populations world wide a secular trend of hip fracture incidence has been reported for various populations. The objective of the current study was to reassess hip fracture incidence ten years following German reunification and compare incidence rates in former East and West Germany.

 Data from the German hospital discharge diagnosis registry were used to compare rates in former East and West Germany. A reassessment of a secular trend was done with directly age-standardized rates of the population 60 years old and over.

 Significant differences were found between incidence rates in the East and West German states with higher rates in the West. Compared to earlier studies for East Germany, rate in East Germany have increased by on average annually 6% since reunification. This is a steep increase compared to the annual rise by about 3% between 1974 and 1989. Hip fracture incidence in East Germany thereby has doubled during the 25-year period from 1971 to 1996. Although the observed acceleration of a secular trend in East Germany probably has multiple causes, evidence suggests a significant influence of Western life style on hip fracture incidence.

Received: 18 April 2000 / Accepted: 5 September 2000