Secular trends in hip fractures worldwide: opposing trends East versus West

J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Aug;29(8):1745-55. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2218.


Despite wide variations in hip rates fractures worldwide, reasons for such differences are not clear. Furthermore, secular trends in the age-specific hip fracture rates are changing the world map of this devastating disease, with the highest rise projected to occur in developing countries. The aim of our investigation is to systematically characterize secular trends in hip fractures worldwide, examine new data for various ethnic groups in the United States, evidence for divergent temporal patterns, and investigate potential contributing factors for the observed change in their epidemiology. All studies retrieved through a complex Medline Ovid search between 1966 and 2013 were examined. For each selected study, we calculated the percent annual change in age-standardized hip fracture rates de-novo. Although occurring at different time points, trend breaks in hip fracture incidence occurred in most Western countries and Oceania. After a steep rise in age-adjusted rates in these regions, a decrease became evident sometimes between the mid-seventies and nineties, depending on the country. Conversely, the data is scarce in Asia and South America, with evidence for a continuous rise in hip fracture rates, with the exception of Hong-Kong and Taiwan that seem to follow Western trends. The etiologies of these secular patterns in both the developed and the developing countries have not been fully elucidated, but the impact of urbanization is at least one plausible explanation. Data presented here show close parallels between rising rates of urbanization and hip fractures across disparate geographic locations and cultures. Once the proportion of the urban population stabilized, hip fracture rates also stabilize or begin to decrease perhaps due to the influence of other factors such as birth cohort effects, changes in bone mineral density and BMI, osteoporosis medication use and/or lifestyle interventions such as smoking cessation, improvement in nutritional status and fall prevention.


Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Hip Fractures / history
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Male