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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2001 Feb;49(1):27-32.

[Incidence of fractures after the age of 50 years in the Lebanese population and implications in terms of osteoporosis].

[Article in French]

Author information

Unité d'Epidémiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Saint Joseph, Service de Rhumatologie, Hôtel-Dieu de France, Beyrouth, Liban.



No comprehensive population-based data is available on the incidence of fractures in Lebanon and the Middle-East. The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of osteoporotic fractures in the Lebanese population aged 50 years and over.


In 1997, a cross-sectional population-based random sample of individuals aged 50 years and over was selected using a multiple level cluster sampling technique. Selected individuals responded to an Arabic version of the EULAR questionnaire. A fracture was defined as incident if it had occurred within the last year. The lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture was estimated using the incidence rate by ten-year age groups assuming that each individual counts on the average for half the interval.


1003 individuals were included. There were 496 men (49.5%) and 507 women (50.5%). Mean age was 61.3 years (CI: 60.8-61.8) with a maximum of 88 years. The observed number of fractures was 111, giving an absolute risk of osteoporotic fractures of 11.1% (CI: 9.1-12.9). It was higher in women, 13.0% (CI: 10.9-15.1) than in men, 8.6% (CI: 6.9-9.3). Female to male ratio was 1.6. The estimated annual incidence was 2.6% (CI: 2.0-3.2), higher in women, 3.8% (CI: 2.2-5.5) than in men, 1.4% (CI: 0.4-2.5). Incident cases were distributed as follows: 4-hip, 4-forearm, 3-spine, and 15 other sites. Annual incidence was higher in women than in men for all sites. Estimated lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture was 9.3% (CI: 6.7-11.9) in men and 16.7% (CI: 13.4-19.9) in women.


Our figures are lower than those found in Northern Europe but are higher than in Asian countries, possibly reflecting a west-east gradient in risk factors.

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