Sakuma, M., Endo, N., Oinuma, T. et al. J Bone Miner Metab (2008) 26: 373. doi:10.1007/s00774-007-0841-1
Osteoporotic fracture in elderly populations is increasing worldwide, but there are few data on the incidence and outcome of osteoporotic fractures, including upper extremity and vertebral fracture, during a certain period in a defined geographic area. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of osteoporotic fractures in a particular area: Sado City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. From January to December 2004, osteoporotic fractures of the vertebra, hip, distal radius, and proximal humerus in Sado City were recorded. The incidence, age, gender, type of fracture (for hip fracture), right or left side (for distal radius, proximal humerus, and hip fracture), place of injury, cause of injury, outcome, hospitalization period, and patient status regarding taking of drugs for osteoporosis treatment were checked for each fracture. The incidence was calculated based on the whole population of Sado City. The incidence per 100 000 population was 232.8, 121.4, 108.6, and 37.1 for fractures of the vertebra, hip, distal radius, and proximal humerus, respectively. The total incidence of these four kinds of fracture was 499.9 per 100 000 persons per year. The average age at the time of injury was 81.4, 77.7, 75.7, and 60.2 years old for fractures of the hip, vertebra, proximal humerus, and distal radius, respectively. As the average age increased, the percentage of fractures that occurred indoors also increased; that is, a higher percentage of hip fractures occurred indoors, followed by fractures of the vertebra, proximal humerus, and distal radius. Most patients were not taking anti-osteoporosis drugs before fractures of the hip or vertebra. We determined the incidence of major osteoporotic fractures in 1 year in a defined geographic area. Our data showed that 81% of hip fracture patients also had a vertebral fracture and that the average age at the time of injury was higher for hip fractures than for vertebral fractures. Therefore, these results suggest that vertebral fracture leads to hip fracture, indicating that early fracture prevention and continuous prevention strategies through positive treatment are of importance in osteoporotic elderly people.