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J Bone Miner Res. 2002 Jul;17(7):1237-44.

International variations in hip fracture probabilities: implications for risk assessment.

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WHO Collaborating Center for Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Sheffield Medical School, United Kingdom.


It is recommended that intervention thresholds should be based on absolute fracture risk, but there is a large variation in hip fracture incidence from different regions of the world. The aim of this study was to examine heterogeneity of hip fracture probability in different regions from recent estimates of hip fracture incidence and mortality to adjust intervention thresholds. Ten-year probabilities of hip fracture were computed in men and women at 10-year intervals from the age of 50 years and lifetime risks at the age of 50 years from the hazard functions of hip fracture and death. Lifetime risk at the age of 50 years varied from 1% in women from Turkey to 28.5% in women from Sweden. High lifetime risks in women were associated with high lifetime risks in men (r = 0.83). There also were significant correlations of 10-year risk at any age between men and women. Ten-year probability was standardized to that of men and women from Sweden (set at 1.0). There was a 15-fold range in 10-year probability from 1.24 in Norway to 0.08 in Chile. Countries were categorized by 10-year probabilities comprising very high risk (Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and the United States), high risk (China [Taiwan [TW]], Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Greece, Canada, The Netherlands, Hungary, Singapore, Italy, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Australia, and Portugal), medium risk (China [Hong Kong [HK]], France, Japan, Spain, Argentina, and China), and low risk (Turkey, Korea, Venezuela, and Chile). The categorization of hip fracture probabilities can be used to adjust intervention thresholds based on age, sex, and relative risk from a reference population such as Sweden.

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