University Of ManitobaHere is some good news for people living in Canada. A new study from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, claims that standardized rates of hip fracture have gradually reduced in Canada since 1985, with a speedier decline between 1996 and 2005, and a more marked reduction among people aged 55 to 64 years. Osteoporosis is an ordinary bone-thinning disease that disposes individuals to fractures.

The authors commented “Because the prevalence of osteoporosis increases with age, the global burden of osteoporosis is projected to rise markedly over the next few decades as the number of elderly individuals increases. The incidence of hip fractures is an index of osteoporosis burden and the potential impact of preventive efforts in the population.”

The data was collected nationwide from the Canadian Institute for Health Information for the years 1985 to 2005. Between the years 1985 to 2005, it was claimed that a total of 570,872 individuals were hospitalized for hip fracture. William D Leslie, M.D., M.Sc., of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, and his colleagues analyzed the data.

Over the past 21 years, the age-adjusted rates of hip fracture supposedly reduced 31.8 percent in females and 25 percent in males. The largest percentage decrease was apparently seen from individual’s in ages between 55 to 64 years. In this age range, the hip fracture rates declined almost by half in females and about one-third in males. It was seen that around 1996 a speedier decline was noted.

The authors remarked “For the overall population, the average age-adjusted annual percentage decrease in hip fracture rates was 1.2 percent per year from 1985 to 1996 and 2.4 percent per year from 1996 to 2005. Similar trends have been reported in other countries, including the United States.”

They are not sure about the reason for this decline. It started before the extensive availability of bone density testing or pharmacological treatments for osteoporosis. There is also not much evidence to propose that improvements in physical activity, calcium intake, vitamin D status or prevention of falls are to be blamed.

The authors mentioned “Overweight and obesity are epidemic in modern societies and may contribute to reduced fracture rates. Hip fractures continue to exert major effects on the population, particularly the elderly, and on the health care system, related to the morbidity, costs and mortality from these fractures. Therefore, the decreasing incidence rates are not grounds for complacency toward osteoporosis prevention and treatment.”

Even though the percentage rates reduced, the absolute number of hip fracture supposedly increased over the study period, an occurrence attributable to the changing age structure of the population.

These findings have been published in the issue of JAMA.