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Bone. 2010 May;46(5):1294-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2009.11.024. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Incidence and seasonal variation in hip fracture incidence among elderly women in Norway. The HUNT Study.

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Department of Public Health and General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.


There is a substantial variation in hip fracture incidence between populations. The Scandinavian countries have the highest incidence of hip fractures worldwide, and latitude and seasonal variation have been discussed as possible reasons for the high fracture incidences. The purpose of this study was to investigate time dependent and seasonal variation of hip fractures in a population based cohort of women aged 65+ residing in a rural county in Norway and followed for 9.3 years. Information at baseline was collected as part of The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) during 1995-97, and 8362 women with no previous hip fracture and with a mean age of 74.3 years were included in the study. All hip fractures occurring after inclusion in the health study were registered (mean follow-up: 9.3 years) by medical journals and x-ray reports. A total of 5661 of the women had their forearm bone mineral density (BMD) measured by single energy x-ray bone densitometers (SXA) as part of HUNT. In total, 782 women sustained a first hip fracture during follow-up, and the overall hip fracture incidence rate per 1000 person-years was 13.1 (95 % CI: 12.2-14.1). The hip fracture incidence increased exponentially by age from 2.1 (95% CI: 1.2-3.8) in the age group 65-69 years to 49.7 (95% CI: 41.2-59.8) among the women aged 90+, respectively. In age-stratified analyses no changes in the incidence of hip fractures were observed during the nine years of follow up. The occurrence of fractures varied by season of the year, characterized by higher fracture rates during the winter months. In conclusion, the hip fracture rates in this population of elderly women are highest in the winter months. There was, however, no indication of an increasing hip fracture incidence in this rural area. Compared to similar studies from more urban areas in Norway, the hip fracture rates in this population seem somewhat lower.

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