Big rise seen in hip fractures

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 April, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 April, 1994, 12:00am

MORE desk jobs, less exercise and one of the world's lowest average calcium intakes have led to a dramatic increase in hip fractures during the past 25 years, according to a Chinese University study.

In 1991 there were 12 hip fractures per 1,000 men aged over 80, and 20 per 1,000 women, almost triple 1960s figures.

Dr Edith Lau Ming-chu, co-ordinator of the Osteoporosis Research Group at the university, believes urbanisation is partly to blame, with fewer physically demanding jobs. This had a direct impact on the ability to keep bone density with age.

A study of 1,200 elderly people showed that regular exercise, such as climbing stairs or hills, halved the risk of hip fractures.

Dr Lau, who works in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, also found that those in the top 20 per cent regarding calcium intake were twice as likely to avoid hip fractures as those in the bottom 20 per cent.