Epidemiology of hip fractures in Bulgaria: development of a country-specific FRAX model

Arch Osteoporos. 2020 Feb 27;15(1):28. doi: 10.1007/s11657-020-0710-2.


A retrospective population-based survey was undertaken in a region of Bulgaria to determine the incidence of hip fracture. The estimated number of hip fractures nationwide for 2015 was 9322 and is predicted to increase to 11,398 in 2050. The hip fracture rates were used to create a FRAX model.

Objective: To describe the epidemiology of hip fractures in Bulgaria, which was then used to develop the country-specific fracture prediction FRAX® tool.

Methods: We carried out a retrospective population-based survey in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, representing approximately 4.6% of the country's population. We identified hip fractures occurring in 2015, 2016 and 2017 from hospital registers and primary care sources held by the regional health insurance agency. Age- and sex-specific incidence of hip fracture and national mortality rates were incorporated into a FRAX model for Bulgaria. Fracture probabilities were compared with those from neighbouring countries having FRAX models.

Results: The incidence of hip fracture applied nationally suggested that the estimated number of hip fractures nationwide in persons over the age of 50 years for 2015 was 9322 and is predicted to increase to 11,398 in 2050. FRAX-based probabilities were higher in Bulgaria than those in Serbia or Romania, lower than those in Turkey and similar to those in Greece.

Conclusion: The FRAX model should enhance accuracy of determining fracture probability among the Bulgarian population and help guide decisions about treatment.

Keywords: Bulgaria; Epidemiology; FRAX; Fracture probability; Hip fracture.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bulgaria / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Hip Fractures / etiology
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / etiology
  • Probability
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Romania / epidemiology
  • Serbia / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Turkey / epidemiology