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Bull World Health Organ. 2001;79(10):942-6. Epub 2001 Nov 1.

Secular increase in the incidence of hip fractures in Belgium between 1984 and 1996: need for a concerted public health strategy.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of Liege, Belgium.



To determine the incidence of hip fractures (at the proximal end of the femur) in Belgium from 1984 to 1996.


Use was made of information from the national database on hospital bills, which fully covers the annual hospital stays in the whole of the country.


The mean annual incidence of hip fractures increased from 107.8 to 140.5 per 100,000 inhabitants between 1984 and 1996. The incidence of fractures of the femoral shaft (diaphysis), taken as a control, remained stable. The female to male ratio of these hip fractures was 2.3:1. Although the incidence by age group was identical for males and females, the fractures occurred approximately seven years earlier in women than in men. The demographic changes observed in Belgium during this period accounted for only 10% of the observed increase in the number of hip fractures.


If no comprehensive preventive policy is set up promptly, there will be a sevenfold increase in the incidence of hip fractures between now and the year 2050 in Belgium.

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