Between 1997-1998 and 2006-2007 in Australia, the age-standardised incidence rates of hip fractures declined by 20 and 13 %, in females and males, respectively. Although this may be related to the rollout of public health campaigns and strategies addressing osteoporosis, absolute numbers of hip fractures continued to increase.
Background: Previous reports described an increasing trend in osteoporotic hip fracture incidence in Australia in the 1980s with a stabilisation over the 1990s.
Aim: The aim of this study was to describe national trends in the incidence of osteoporotic hip fracture in Australia between 1997-1998 and 2006-2007.
Methods: Data on low-trauma hip fractures in persons aged 50 years and over were obtained from the National Hospital Morbidity Database. Cases where the patient was transferred in from another hospital were excluded. Age-standardised incidence rates were calculated and a linear test for trend applied.
Results: Although the absolute number of hip fracture cases has continued to increase, from 14,769 in 1997-1998 to 16,412 in 2006-2007, these numbers are lower than previous predictions based on population ageing. Over the 10-year period, the age-standardised incidence rates in females declined by 20 %, from 370 to 295 per 100,000, while the age-standardised incidence rates in males declined by 13 %, from 200 to 174 per 100,000. Both declines were statistically significant. The sex difference in incidence rates narrowed between 1997-1998 (females 85 % higher) and 2006-2007 (females 70 % higher).
Conclusions: The age-standardised incidence of osteoporotic hip fracture in Australia is falling. This may be related to the uptake of bisphosphonates as well as the rollout of public health campaigns and strategies addressing osteoporosis.