Aim: To determine the regional incidence of hip fracture among individuals aged 60 years or older in New Zealand.
Methods: New Zealand Health Information Service inpatient morbidity data for the years 1988-92 were examined by area health board region to identify all hip fractures (ICD N820) among individuals aged 60 years or older.
Results: Substantial regional variation exists in the incidence of hip fractures among older people in New Zealand. Among both men and women, similar regional variations were observed with the age-standardised rates being consistently highest in the West Coast (790 per 100,000 for women and 360 per 100,000 in men) and lowest in Northland (540 per 100,000 in women and 185 per 100,000 in men).
Conclusion: These findings have implications for resource allocation, both in terms of targeting prevention initiatives and in providing acute and long term management of hip fracture patients. In addition, they raise questions as to why such variations in hip fracture incidence exist in New Zealand.