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Bone. 2011 Mar 1;48(3):607-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2010.10.175. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Incident hip fracture and social disadvantage in an Australian population aged 50 years or greater.

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne 3004, Australia.



There is an inverse association between socioeconomic status (SES) and most causes of morbidity. Hip fractures pose a significant public health burden on society. However, the association between quintiles of area-based SES and incident hip fractures has not been examined in Australia. Using a comprehensive register of hip fractures for the entire Barwon Statistical Division (BSD), we assessed the association between area-based SES and incident hip fractures over a two-year period in residents aged ≥ 50years.


Incident hip fractures were identified using a computerized keyword search of all radiological reports from all the radiological centers serving the BSD. Pathological fractures were excluded. SES was determined by cross-referencing residential addresses with Australian Bureau of Statistics census data and categorized in quintiles based upon the BSD reference range. Homogeneity of population at risk in each SES quintile was tested using chi square comparison. Hip fractures in each quintile and within each age strata for the entire BSD region were defined as rates per 1000 person-years.


During 2006-2007, there were 495 hip fractures (336 female). An inverse pattern of association was observed between SES and hip fracture incidence, with a peak in fracture numbers observed in the second quintile of SES, with differences between SES quintiles observed for both females (p = 0.005) and males (p = 0.007).


The association between incident hip fractures and quintiles of area-based SES provides evidence that those of greater social disadvantage should be a specific target population for intervention to reduce the burden of hip fracture within Australia.

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