Burden of high fracture probability worldwide: secular increases 2010-2040

Osteoporos Int. 2015 Sep;26(9):2243-8. doi: 10.1007/s00198-015-3154-6. Epub 2015 May 28.


The number of individuals aged 50 years or more at high risk of osteoporotic fracture worldwide in 2010 was estimated at 158 million and is set to double by 2040.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to quantify the number of individuals worldwide aged 50 years or more at high risk of osteoporotic fracture in 2010 and 2040.

Methods: A threshold of high fracture probability was set at the age-specific 10-year probability of a major fracture (clinical vertebral, forearm, humeral or hip fracture) which was equivalent to that of a woman with a BMI of 24 kg/m(2) and a prior fragility fracture but no other clinical risk factors. The prevalence of high risk was determined worldwide and by continent using all available country-specific FRAX models and applied the population demography for each country.

Results: Twenty-one million men and 137 million women had a fracture probability at or above the threshold in the world for the year 2010. The greatest number of men and women at high risk were from Asia (55 %). Worldwide, the number of high-risk individuals is expected to double over the next 40 years.

Conclusion: We conclude that individuals with high probability of osteoporotic fractures comprise a very significant disease burden to society, particularly in Asia, and that this burden is set to increase markedly in the future. These analyses provide a platform for the evaluation of risk assessment and intervention strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Global Health / trends*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Sex Distribution