We determined the current trend in the number and incidence of hip fracture among persons 50 years of age or older in Finland between 1970 and 2010. After a clear rise until the late 1990s, the incidence of hip fracture has continuously declined.
Hip fractures are a major public health issue associated with excess morbidity and mortality. We determined the current trend in the number and incidence (per 100,000 persons) of hip fracture among older adults in Finland, an EU country with a well-defined Caucasian population of 5.4 million people.
We took into account all persons 50 years of age or older who were admitted to hospitals for primary treatment of hip fracture between 1970 and 2010.
The number of hip fractures rose sharply till the end of 1990s (from 1,857 in 1970 to 7,122 in 1997), but since then, the rise has leveled off (7,594 fractures in 2010). Similarly, the age-adjusted incidence of hip fracture increased until 1997 but declined thereafter. The decline was especially clear in women whose age-adjusted incidence was 515.7 (per 100,000 persons) in 1997 but only 382.6 in 2010. In men, the corresponding incidence was 245.3 in 1997 and 210.7 in 2010. The number of hip fractures will increase 1.8-fold by 2030 even with the current 2010 incidence rates because the size of the 50-year-old or older population is likely to increase sharply in the near future.
The declining trend in the incidence of hip fracture in Finland has continued through the entire first decade of the new millennium. Reasons for this development are uncertain, but possible explanations include increased average body weight, improved functional ability among elderly Finns, and specific measures to prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of falling.