Introduction: Fractures are a considerable public health burden in the United Kingdom but information on their epidemiology is limited.
Objective: This study aims to estimate the true annual incidence and lifetime prevalence of fractures in England, within both the general population and specific groups, using a self-report methodology.
Methods: A self-report survey of a nationally representative general population sample of 45 293 individuals in England, plus a special boost sample of 10 111 drawn from the ethnic minority population.
Results: The calculated fracture incidence is 3.6 fractures per 100 people per year. Lifetime fracture prevalence exceeds 50% in middle-aged men, and 40% in women over the age of 75 years. Fractures occur with reduced frequency in the non-white population: this effect is seen across most black and minority ethnic groups.
Conclusions: This study suggests that fractures in England may be more common than previously estimated, with an overall annual fracture incidence of 3.6%. Age-standardised lifetime fracture prevalence is estimated to be 38.2%. Fractures are more commonplace in the white population.
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Funding: The Health Survey for England (HSE) is funded by the Department of Health, England.
Competing interests: None.
Contributors: Originator of research: LJD; data collection: staff of the Joint Health Surveys Unit of NatCen and UCL; planning of analyses: all authors and B Sweeney; data analyses: SS; interpretation of results: all authors; first draft of manuscript: IPR; revisions to drafts: all authors.