Fragility Fracture Demographics

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Lead Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Women are more likely than men to have an osteoporosis diagnosis and to have a fragility fracture. Hospital discharges in 2011 with a fragility fracture diagnosis for women were more than twice the number of discharges in men with the same diagnosis (404,300 discharges for women; 159,500 discharges for men). This difference is evidenced for fragility fractures at all sites, and is also representative of emergency department (ED) visits with a fragility fracture diagnosis.

Age also is a major factor among people diagnosed with a fragility fracture, with people aged 80 years and older representing twice the rate of those between the ages of 70 and 79 years.

Overall, hospital discharges for fragility fractures accounted for 2.6% of hospital discharges for any diagnosis in 2011, and 2.0% of all ED visits. Among women, fragility fractures accounted for 3.5% of all hospital discharges and 2.6% of all ED visits. Among people aged 80 years and older, fragility fractures accounted for 6.4% of all hospital discharges and 4.9% of all ED visits. (Reference Table 5.2.2 PDF CSV)

Fragility Fracture Diagnoses as a Proportion of Total Hospital Discharges and Emergency Departments Visits, by Sex and Age, United States 2020-2011

A more detailed discussion of sex and age differences in osteoporosis and fragility fractures can be found in the Special Populations section of this site in Sex and Gender and Aging.


  • 2014

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