womens health

Analyzing Regional Differences in Incidence Rates for Bone Fractures

Bone fractures can be painful and debilitating, affecting millions of people each year. However, recent research has shown that the incidence rates of bone fractures vary significantly across different regions of the United States.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that there were significant differences in fracture incidence rates between states. For example, residents of Hawaii had a lower risk of hip fracture than those living in New York or Pennsylvania. Similarly, individuals living in southern states such as Texas and Florida had higher rates of ankle fractures compared to their counterparts on the East Coast.

The reasons behind these regional disparities are not entirely clear. Some experts suggest that environmental factors may play a role, such as differences in climate or exposure to sunlight which affects vitamin D levels needed for strong bones. Other potential explanations include variations in lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity levels.

Another study published by the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma analyzed data from over 1 million hospital admissions due to bone fractures between 2009-2014 across eight US regions: Northeast (NE), Mid-Atlantic (MA), Southeast (SE), Great Lakes (GL), Plains (PL), Mountain West (MW), Southwest (SW) and Pacific West(PW). The results showed that while overall fracture incidence was similar across all regions, there were significant differences when looking at specific types of fractures.

For instance, hip fracture incidence was highest among individuals residing in NE region with an annual rate per 1000 person-years being 2 times more than PW region where it was lowest. In contrast upper extremity injuries including wrist and forearm fractures were most common among residents living within SW region followed by PL region whereas they occurred less frequently among inhabitants within GL and MA areas.

In addition to geographic location playing a role on risk for certain types of bone breaks other factors also contribute to increased likelihoods; women have a higher risk for hip fractures than men, and older adults are more susceptible to all types of bone fractures.

The implications of these regional differences in fracture incidence rates are significant. They suggest that there may be opportunities to target specific populations with interventions aimed at reducing the risk of bone fractures. For example, individuals living in regions with higher rates of hip fractures could benefit from targeted education about fall prevention strategies or increased access to vitamin D supplements.

Future research on this topic will likely focus on identifying the underlying causes behind these regional disparities. By understanding why certain populations have higher rates of bone fractures, researchers can develop more effective interventions aimed at reducing the burden of this common health problem.

In conclusion, analyzing regional differences in incidence rates for bone fractures has shed light on important variations across different parts of the United States. These findings highlight the need for tailored approaches to preventing and treating bone breaks based on geographic location as well as other factors such as age and sex. As research continues in this area, it is hoped that we will gain a better understanding of how best to address this widespread public health issue.


1) Johnell O et al., “Regional variation in hip fracture incidence,” Bone 1997;21:211-217

2) Koval KJ et al., “Geographic Variation in Fracture Incidence Among Elderly Women: The Importance Of Socioeconomic Status And Anthropometric Exposures,” Journal Of Orthopaedic Trauma 2015;29(4):e127-e132.

3) National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF). Clinician’s Guide To Prevention And Treatment Of Osteoporosis.; Washington DC: NOF; 2010.

4) U.S Department Of Health & Human Services (HHS). Bone Health And Osteoporosis: A Report Of The Surgeon General.; Rockville MD : HHS ;2004

*Note: this site does not provide medical opinions or diagnosis and should not be relied upon instead of receiving medical attention from a licensed medical professional.

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1WH staff