Publications

Fragility fractures in sub-Saharan Africa: time to break the myth, published. 2019

Gregson CL, Cassim B, Micklesfield LK, Lukhele M, Ferrand RA, Ward KA on behalf of the SAMSON Collaborative Working GroupAbstract

Paper: Gregson CL, Cassim B, Micklesfield LK, et al. Fragility fractures in sub-Saharan Africa: time to break the myth. Lancet Global Health 2019;7(1):E26-E27. 

Abstract

The number of older adults (aged ≥60 years) in Sub-Saharan Africa is two times higher than in northern Europe; a figure that is expected to increase from 46 million in 2015 to 157 million by 2050. In sub-Saharan Africa, at age 60 years, life expectancy is 16 years for women and 14 years for men, suggesting that for individuals who survive challenges in early life, a long period of old age is now a reality. As sub-Saharan Africa undergoes an epidemiological transition as a result of rapid urbanisation, the burden of non-communicable diseases, including osteoporosis, is rising. Similar to many chronic diseases such as hypertension, osteoporosis often remains undiagnosed until a fracture occurs. Increasing evidence is dispelling the outdated myth that fragility fractures are not a problem in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Incidence and number of fragility fractures of the hip in South Africa: estimated projections from 2020 to 2050

Hawley S, Dela S, Burton A, Paruk F, Cassim B and Gregson CL

Paper: Incidence and number of fragility fractures of the hip in South Africa: estimated projections from 2020 to 2050 | SpringerLink

Abstract

Summary: Sub-Saharan Africa is undergoing rapid population ageing and better understanding of the burden of musculoskeletal conditions is needed. We have estimated a large increase in the burden of hip fractures for South Africa over the coming decades. These findings should support preparation of hip fracture services to meet this demand.

Introduction: A better understanding of the burden of fragility fractures in sub-Saharan Africa is needed to inform healthcare planning. We aimed to use recent hip fracture incidence data from South Africa (SA) to estimate the future burden of hip fracture for the country over the next three decades. Methods: Hip fracture incidence data within the Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces of SA were obtained from patients aged ≥ 40 years with a radiograph-confirmed hip fracture in one of 94 included hospitals. Age-, sex- and ethnicity-specific incidence rates were generated using the 2011 SA census population for the study areas. Incidence rates were standardised to United Nations (UN) population projections, for the years 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050, and absolute numbers of hip fractures derived. Results: The 2767 hip fracture patients studied had mean (SD) age 73.7 (12.7) years; 69% were female. Estimated age- and ethnicity-standardised incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years) for the overall SA population in 2020 were 81.2 for females and 43.1 for males. Overall projected incidence rates were discernibly higher by the year 2040 and increased further by the year 2050 (109.0 and 54.1 for females and males, respectively). Estimates of the overall annual number of hip fractures for SA increased from approximately 11,000 in 2020 to approximately 26,400 by 2050. Conclusion: The hip fracture burden for SA is expected to more than double over the next 30 years. Significant investment in fracture prevention services and inpatient fracture care is likely to be needed to meet this demand.