Estimates of lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture have assumed that mortality rates do not change. Since mortality in the elderly is decreasing in all regions of the world we assessed the effect of this on lifetime risks for hip fracture using Sweden as a reference country. Lifetime risks of hip fracture at the age of 50 years were 4.6% and 13.9% in men and women respectively, assuming all survive to current average life expectancy. Estimates increased to 8.1% and 19.5% when based on present mortality and to 11.1% and 22.7% respectively based on predicted mortality. We conclude that lifetime risks of hip fracture have been considerably underestimated.