Higher fracture risk for older women

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 July, 2011, 12:00am


Elderly women are more than twice as likely to suffer bone fractures than men of the same age, the latest government statistics show.

About 2,400 out of every 100,000 women over 65 were admitted to hospital with bone fractures in 2009, against 1,000 out of every 100,000 men in the same age group.

Hospital Authority and Department of Health figures show that about 30,000 Hongkongers suffered fractures in 2009. Nearly 70 per cent were due to falls and 17 per cent from traffic accidents. Some 14.2 per cent were sports injuries.

The figures were published in the latest issue of the Centre for Health Protection's Non-communicable Disease Watch.

Although older women are more likely to suffer bone fractures than men, the situation is reversed among those in their 20s and 30s. This could be because men are more likely to play sports, doctors said.

But the newsletter noted that the figures might not reflect the full picture, as some fracture patients sought help from Chinese herbalists and did not go to hospital.

A balanced diet was important to avoid fractures, doctors said.

Bones start weakening when a person reaches their 40s. Calcium and vitamin D are vital for strong bones.

To improve calcium intake, people should drink milk and eat tofu or fish that have edible bones. Vitamin D can be obtained from salmon, sardine, tuna or egg yolk and can be boosted by sunlight.


Proportion of fractures that are caused by falls

- Bones start to weaken when you reach your 40s