Incidence and characteristics of distal radius fractures in a southern Swedish region

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The incidence of distal radius fracture has increased substantially during the last 50 years according to several studies that estimated the overall incidence in various general populations. The incidence of fracture classified according to severity has not been well documented. The aim of this population-based study was to estimate the overall and type-specific incidence rates of distal radius fracture in a representative population in southern Sweden. METHODS: During 2001, all persons older than 18 years with acute distal radius fracture in the southern Swedish region of Northeastern Scania were prospectively recorded. A radiologist classified the fractures according to the AO system and measured volar tilt and ulnar variance. A fracture with volar tilt outside a range of -5 degrees to 20 degrees and/or ulnar variance of 2 mm or greater was defined as displaced. RESULTS: 335 persons with acute distal radius fracture were recorded during the 1-year period. The overall incidence rate was 26 (95% confidence interval 23-29) per 10,000 person-years. Among women the incidence rate increased rapidly from the age of 50 and reached a peak of 119 per 10,000 person-years in women 80 years and older. The incidence rate among women 50 to 79 years old (56 per 10,000 person-years) was lower than that reported in previous studies of similar populations. Among men the incidence rate was low until the age of 80 years and older when it increased to 28 per 10,000 person-years. Fractures classified as AO type A comprised about 80% of the fractures in women and 64% in men. Almost two-thirds of all fractures were displaced and among men and women 80 years and older more than 80% of the fractures were displaced. CONCLUSION: The incidence rate of distal radius fracture in women 50 to 79 years old was lower than previously reported, which may indicate declining incidence in this group. In both sexes, the incidence was highest in the age group of 80 years and older. With a growing number of elderly in the general population, the impact of distal radius fracture in the future may be considerable.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics
  • Surgery
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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