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Global burden of high fracture probability 'set to double by 2040'

20:00 EDT 31 May 2015 | Arthritis Research UK

A new UK study has offered evidence that the number of older people at risk of osteoporotic fractures is set to rise considerably over the next two decades or so.

Carried out by the University of Southampton and the University of Sheffield, the research aimed to quantify the number of individuals worldwide aged 50 years or more at high risk of osteoporotic fracture in 2010, before extrapolating current trends to predict a figure for 2040.

A threshold of high fracture probability was set at the age-specific ten-year probability of a major fracture, which was equivalent to that of a woman with a body mass index of 24 kg per sq m and a prior fragility fracture, but no other clinical risk factors.

The prevalence of high risk was determined worldwide and on a continent-by-continent basis by using all available country-specific data and applying it to population demographic information for each country.

According to results published in the medical journal Osteoporosis International, around 137 million women and 21 million men worldwide had a fracture probability at or above the threshold in 2010, with 55 per cent of those at high risk coming from Asia.

Moreover, it was revealed that the number of high-risk individuals is expected to double by 2040, thus demonstrating the increasingly significant profile of this global health problem.

The researchers stated: "We conclude that individuals with high probability of osteoporotic fractures comprise a very significant disease burden to society, particularly in Asia, and that this burden is set to increase markedly in the future. These analyses provide a platform for the evaluation of risk assessment and intervention strategies."

Original Article: Global burden of high fracture probability 'set to double by 2040'

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