Hip fractures in Singapore: ethnic differences and temporal trends in the new millennium
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Despite an increase in absolute numbers, the age-standardized incidence of hip fractures in Singapore declined in the period 2000 to 2017. Among the three major ethnic groups, Chinese women had the highest fracture rates but were the only group to show a temporal decline.
A study published in 2001 predicted a 30–50% increase in Singapore hip fracture incidence rates over the ensuing 30 years. To test that prediction, we examined the incidence of hip fracture in Singapore from 2000 to 2017.
We carried out a population-based study of hip fractures among Singapore residents aged ≥ 50 years. National medical insurance claims data were used to identify admissions with a primary discharge diagnosis of hip fracture. Age-adjusted rates, based on the age distribution of the Singapore population of 2000, were analyzed separately by sex and ethnicity (Chinese, Malay, or Indian).
Over the 18-year study period, 36,082 first hip fractures were recorded. Total hip fracture admissions increased from 1487 to 2729 fractures/year in the years 2000 to 2017. Despite this absolute increase, age-adjusted fracture rates declined, with an average annual change of − 4.3 (95% CI − 5.0, − 3.5) and − 1.1 (95% CI − 1.7, − 0.5) fractures/100,000/year for women and men respectively. Chinese women had 1.4- and 1.9-fold higher age-adjusted rates than Malay and Indian women: 264 (95% CI 260, 267) versus 185 (95% CI 176, 193) and 141 (95% CI 132, 150) fractures/100,000/year, respectively. Despite their higher fracture rates, Chinese women were the only ethnic group exhibiting a decline, most evident in those ≥ 85 years, in age-adjusted fracture rate of − 5.3 (95% CI − 6.0, − 4.5) fractures/100,000/year.
Although the absolute number of fractures increased, steep drops in elderly Chinese women drove a reduction in overall age-adjusted hip fracture rates. Increases in the older population will lead to a rise in total number of hip fractures, requiring budgetary planning and new preventive strategies.
KeywordsEthnic differences Hip fracture rates Singapore
This study was partially funded by a Singapore National Medical Research Council Grant (Number CSASI16May007) to ELY.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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