Trends in fracture incidence: a population-based study over 20 years

J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Mar;29(3):581-9. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2072.


To assess recent trends in fracture incidence from all causes at all skeletal sites, we used the comprehensive (inpatient and outpatient) data resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project to estimate rates for Olmsted County, MN, USA, residents in 2009 to 2011 compared with similar data from 1989 to 1991. During the 3-year study period, 2009 to 2011, 3549 residents ≥50 years of age experienced 5244 separate fractures. The age- and sex-adjusted (to the 2010 US white population) incidence of any fracture was 2704 per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI] 2614 to 2793) and that for all fractures was 4017 per 100,000 (95% CI 3908 to 4127). Fracture incidence increased with age in both sexes, but age-adjusted rates were 49% greater among the women. Overall, comparably adjusted fracture incidence rates increased by 11% (from 3627 to 4017 per 100,000 person-years; p = 0.008) between 1989 to 1991 and 2009 to 2011. This was mainly attributable to a substantial increase in vertebral fractures (+47% for both sexes combined), which was partially offset by a decline in hip fractures (-25%) among the women. There was also a 26% reduction in distal forearm fractures among the women; an increase in distal forearm fractures among men aged 50 years and over was not statistically significant. The dramatic increase in vertebral fractures, seen in both sexes and especially after age 75 years, was attributable in part to incidentally diagnosed vertebral fractures. However, the fall in hip fracture incidence, observed in most age groups, continues the steady decline observed among women in this community since 1950. More generally, these data indicate that the dramatic increases in the incidence of fractures at many skeletal sites that were observed decades ago have now stabilized.


Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance*