INTRODUCTION: We aimed to assess the incidence and hospitalization rate of hip and "minor" fragility fractures in the Italian population.METHODS: We carried out a 3-year survey at 10 major Italian emergency departments to evaluate the hospitalization rate of hip, forearm, humeral, ankle, and vertebral fragility fractures in people 45 years or older between 2004 and 2006, both men and women. These data were compared with those recorded in the national hospitalizations database (SDO) to assess the overall incidence of fragility fractures occurring at hip and other sites, including also those events not resulting in hospital admissions.RESULTS: We observed 29,017 fractures across 3 years, with hospitalization rates of 93.0% for hip fractures, 36.3% for humeral fractures, 31.3% for ankle fractures, 22.6% for forearm/wrist fractures, and 27.6% for clinical vertebral fractures. According to the analyses performed with the Italian hospitalization database in year 2006, we estimated an annual incidence of 87,000 hip, 48,000 humeral, 36,000 ankle, 85,000 wrist, and 155,000 vertebral fragility fractures in people aged 45 years or older (thus resulting in almost 410,000 new fractures per year). Clinical vertebral fractures were recorded in 47,000 events per year.CONCLUSIONS: The burden of fragility fractures in the Italian population is very high and calls for effective preventive strategies.
- Immunology and Allergy