The incidence of hip fractures among older Australians has been declining consistently for a decade, according to a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
Between 1997-98 and 2006-07, the incidence rate for hip fractures among older women fell by 20 per cent. The decrease in the incidence rate for older men was 14 per cent.
“The fact that the incidence of hip fractures decreased more slowly among males may indicate that men could benefit from increased attention to prevention of underlying risk factors,” said report co-author Tracy Dixon.
Although the incidence rate of hip fractures is in decline, the actual number of cases continues to rise because of population growth and ageing.
In 2006-07 there were about 16,500 osteoporotic hip fractures among Australians aged 40 years or over.
“This means more than 40 Australians broke their hip every day in 2006–07. Most of these people were 65 years or older, and more than half were 85 years or older. Almost three-quarters were women,” said Ms Dixon.
The report said that virtually everybody who breaks their hip will be admitted to hospital and most will have some kind of surgery.
One in ten older people who are hospitalised following a hip fracture will be discharged to an aged care facility, while five per cent will die in hospital.
Older Indigenous men were twice as likely to suffer a hip fracture as their non-Indigenous counterparts and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more likely to be hospitalised following a hip fracture.