The aim of this study was to characterise the hospital burden of fractures in the Swedish population by age and gender. The number of patients and number of fractures were documented according to site of fracture, age, sex and duration of hospital stay for the whole population of Sweden in 1996. Fractures were additionally classified as osteoporotic according to fracture site. In 1996 there were 54,000 admissions for fracture in men and women aged 50 years or more, accounting for 600,000 hospital-bed days. Hip fractures accounted for 63% of admissions for fracture in men and 72% in women, for 69% and 73% of hospital-bed days, respectively. Fractures considered to be osteoporotic accounted for 84% of all hospital-bed days due to fracture in men, and 93% in women. More hospital-bed days were due to osteoporotic fracture than to breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. The number of hospital-bed days due to osteoporotic fracture was between the amount due to ischaemic heart disease and the amount due to stroke.
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