Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1859-1865

First online:

Mortality after vertebral fracture in Korea

Analysis of the National Claim Registry
  • Y.-K. LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital
  • , S. JangAffiliated withInje University College of Pharmacy
  • , S. JangAffiliated withGraduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University
  • , H. J. LeeAffiliated withHealth Insurance Review and Assessment Service
  • , C. ParkAffiliated withHealth Insurance Review and Assessment Service
  • , Y.-C. HaAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine
  • , D.-Y. KimAffiliated withDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital Email author 

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The present study evaluates the incidence and mortality of vertebral fractures in Korea, using data from the Health Insurance Review Assessment Service, which includes nationwide information entrusted by Korean government.


A vertebral compression fracture is a serious complication associated with osteoporosis of the spine. We evaluated the incidence of vertebral fracture and subsequent mortality in South Korea, using nationwide data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA).


All new visits or admissions to clinics or hospitals for fractures were recorded in nationwide cohort by the Korean HIRA using International Classification of Disease, tenth Revision (ICD-10) code. The incidence of vertebral fracture and excess mortality associated with vertebral fracture were evaluated, in men and women aged 50 years or more between 2005 and 2008. Standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was calculated to determine excess mortality associated with vertebral fracture.


The crude overall incidence of vertebral fractures was 984 per 100,000 person years from 2005 to 2008. The overall mortality rate at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after vertebral fracture in men (5.56%, 9.41%, 14.6%, and 20.61%, respectively) were higher than that in women (2.41%, 4.36%, 7.16%, and 10.48%, respectively). In both genders, the age-specific mortality rates were more than those of the general population. The SMR was highest during the first 3 months and gradually declined to 2.53 in men and 1.86 in women at the 2-year period.


The incidence of vertebral fracture in South Korea was comparable with other countries such as Switzerland, and the mortality after vertebral fracture is higher than that of normal populations. The incidence of osteoporotic vertebral fracture and following high mortality are likely to become serious socioeconomic problems.


Incidence Mortality Osteoporosis Vertebral fracture