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CMAJ. 1997 Nov 15;157(10):1357-63.

Current and projected rates of hip fracture in Canada.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Ont.



To determine the current values and estimate the projected values (to the year 2041) for annual number of proximal femoral fractures (PFFs), age-adjusted rates of fracture, rates of death in the acute care setting, associated length of stay (LOS) in hospital, and seasonal variation by sex and age in elderly Canadians.


Hospital discharge data for fiscal year 1993-94 from the Canadian Institute for Health Information were used to determine PFF incidence, and Statistics Canada population projections were used to estimate the rate and number of PFFs to 2041.




Canadian patients 65 years of age or older who underwent hip arthroplasty.


PFF rates, death rates and LOS by age, sex and province.


In 1993-94 the incidence of PFF increased exponentially with increasing age. The age-adjusted rates were 479 per 100,000 for women and 187 per 100,000 for men. The number of PFFs was estimated at 23,375 (17,823 in women and 5552 in men), with a projected increase to 88,124 in 2041. The rate of death during the acute care stay increased exponentially with increasing age. The death rates for men were twice those for women. In 1993-94 an estimated 1570 deaths occurred in the acute care setting, and 7000 deaths were projected for 2041. LOS in the acute care setting increased with advancing age, as did variability in LOS, which suggests a more heterogeneous case mix with advancing age. The LOS for 1993-94 and 2041 was estimated at 465,000 and 1.8 million patient-days respectively. Seasonal variability in the incidence of PFFs by sex was not significant. Significant season-province interactions were seen (p < 0.05); however, the differences in incidence were small (on the order of 2% to 3%) and were not considered to have a large effect on resource use in the acute care setting.


On the assumption that current conditions contributing to hip fractures will remain constant, the number of PFFs will rise exponentially over the next 40 years. The results of this study highlight the serious implications for Canadians if incidence rates are not reduced by some form of intervention.

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