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Osteoporos Int. 2012 Mar;23(3):879-85. doi: 10.1007/s00198-011-1627-9. Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Ethnic difference of clinical vertebral fracture risk.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. cbow@hku.hk

Abstract

Vertebral fractures are the most common osteoporotic fractures. Data on the vertebral fracture risk in Asia remain sparse. This study observed that Hong Kong Chinese and Japanese populations have a less dramatic increase in hip fracture rates associated with age than Caucasians, but the vertebral fracture rates were higher, resulting in a high vertebral-to-hip fracture ratio. As a result, estimation of the absolute fracture risk for Asians may need to be readjusted for the higher clinical vertebral fracture rate.

INTRODUCTION:

Vertebral fractures are the most common osteoporotic fractures. Data on the vertebral fracture risk in Asia remain sparse. The aim of this study was to report the incidence of clinical vertebral fractures among the Chinese and to compare the vertebral-to-hip fracture risk to other ethnic groups.

METHODS:

Four thousand, three hundred eighty-six community-dwelling Southern Chinese subjects (2,302 women and 1,810 men) aged 50 or above were recruited in the Hong Kong Osteoporosis Study since 1995. Baseline demographic characteristics and medical history were obtained. Subjects were followed annually for fracture outcomes with a structured questionnaire and verified by the computerized patient information system of the Hospital Authority of the Hong Kong Government. Only non-traumatic incident hip fractures and clinical vertebral fractures that received medical attention were included in the analysis. The incidence rates of clinical vertebral fractures and hip fractures were determined and compared to the published data of Swedish Caucasian and Japanese populations.

RESULTS:

The mean age at baseline was 62 ± 8.2 years for women and 68 ± 10.3 years for men. The average duration of follow-up was 4.0 ± 2.8 (range, 1 to 14) years for a total of 14,733 person-years for the whole cohort. The incidence rate for vertebral fracture was 194/100,000 person-years in men and 508/100,000 person-years in women, respectively. For subjects above the age of 65, the clinical vertebral fracture and hip fracture rates were 299/100,000 and 332/100,000 person-years, respectively, in men, and 594/100,000 and 379/100,000 person-years, respectively, in women. Hong Kong Chinese and Japanese populations have a less dramatic increase in hip fracture rates associated with age than Caucasians. At the age of 65 or above, the hip fracture rates for Asian (Hong Kong Chinese and Japanese) men and women were less than half of that in Caucasians, but the vertebral fracture rate was higher in Asians, resulting in a high vertebral-to-hip fracture ratio.

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidences of vertebral and hip fractures, as well as the vertebral-to-hip fracture ratios vary in Asians and Caucasians. Estimation of the absolute fracture risk for Asians may need to be readjusted for the higher clinical vertebral fracture rate.

PMID:
21461720
PMCID:
PMC3277693
DOI:
10.1007/s00198-011-1627-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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