Fracture epidemiology:

We recently undertook a comprehensive assessment of the descriptive epidemiology of fracture in the UK, using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). We observed classic patterns of incident fractures by age and sex22, and marked variation in rates and in post fracture mortality by socioeconomic status, geographic location and ethnicity. Although overall fracture incidence was unchanged in both women and men across the calendar period, site-specific trends were evident: hip fracture incidence rose in men and clinical vertebral fractures increased in women.

Our work with UK Biobank, as leads for the DXA-imaging workpackage, presents many opportunities to define and refine novel risk factors for fracture.  For example, as part of an international consortium, we have described the genetic determinants of fracture, being the largest ever genome-wide association study (GWAS) for a bone mineral density outcome.