Epidemiology of Osteoporotic Pelvic Fractures in Elderly People in Finland: Sharp Increase in 1970–1997 and Alarming Projections for the New Millennium
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The purpose of our epidemiologic study was to determine the current trend in the number and incidence of osteoporotic pelvic fractures in Finland, a country with a Caucasian population of 5 million. Thus, all Finns 60 years of age or older who were admitted to hospitals in 1970–1997 for primary treatment of a first osteoporotic pelvic fracture were selected from The National Hospital Discharge Register. In each year of the study, the number and the age-specific and age-adjusted incidences of fractures were expressed as the number of patients per 100 000 individuals. The total number of osteoporotic pelvic fractures increased considerably in Finland during the study period, from 128 in 1970 to 913 in 1997, an average increase of 23% a year. The corresponding fracture incidence (per 100 000 persons 60 years of age or older) was 20 in 1970 and 92 in 1997. The mean age of the patients also increased, from 74 years (1970) to 80 years (1997). Despite this, the age-adjusted incidence of osteoporotic pelvic fractures also showed a steady increase from 1970 to 1997: in women, from 31 to 103, and in men, from 13 to 38 (relative increases were 232% and 192%, respectively). If this trend continues, the current number of osteoporotic pelvic fractures in this country (about 900 fractures per year) may treble by the year 2030 (about 2700 fractures per year). We conclude that the number of osteoporotic pelvic fractures in elderly Finns is increasing at a rate that cannot be explained simply by demographic changes and therefore effective preventive measures should be urgently initiated to control the increasing burden of these age-related fractures.
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