Osteoporosis  /  Human Burden

More than 54 million Americans face the threat of osteoporosis; which causes more than 2 million fractures each year. These fractures can have a profound impact on quality of life—often leading to pain, disability, loss of independence, and even death—and cost the U.S. an estimated billion each year. Fortunately, scientists are continuing to make exciting breakthroughs that are helping to keep bones healthy and prevent debilitating fractures. The Alliance for Aging Research partnered with the National Osteoporosis Foundation to produce this volume.

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    • Fifty percent of people who fracture a hip will be unable to walk without assistance.  
    • The rate of hospitalizations citing an osteoporosis diagnosis and an injury increased 55% between 1995 and 2006  
    • Characteristics of hospitalizations citing an osteoporosis diagnosis compared to hospitalizations for all conditions, 2006  
    • In 2006, injurious osteoporosis hospital stays averaged $900 more in hospital costs than all stays noting an osteoporosis diagnosis ($9,600 versus $8,700) and had a longer length of stay (5.5…  
    • Patients hospitalized with osteoporosis and injury were 4 times as likely to be discharged to a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center (56.5% versus 15.9%)…  
    • Patients who have an osteoporosis diagnosis and an injury were admitted to the emergency room more often than the average hospitalization–67.3% versus 55.7%, respectively.  
    • In 2006, treatments of hip and leg fractures and dislocations were performed in 16.4% of all injurious osteoporosis hospital stays, and 8.1% of these stays noted a hip replacement.  
    • In 2006, injuries were recorded in 1/4 of all hospital patients with an osteoporosis diagnosis. Pathological fractures (i.e. spontaneous and stress fractures), hip fractures, and fractures of the ribs, vertebrae…  
    • In 2006, there were about 254,000 hospital stays that involved an injury likely due to osteoporosis–a 55% increase since 1995. In 2006, the related hospital costs totaled $2.4 billion.  
    • Even though women are more likely to sustain a hip fracture, men who suffer a hip fracture are twice as likely as women to die within 1-2 years of that…  
    • One study found that women age 65 and older who suffered a vertebral fracture were more than twice as likely to suffer back pain than women who hadn’t.  
    • Four months after a hip fracture, less than 20% of patients recovered their prefracture competence in activities.  
    • Physician visits for osteoporosis increased 4-fold (from 1.3 million to 6.3 million) from 1994 to 2003.  
    • In 2005, osteoporosis was responsible for more than 2 million fractures in men and women over the age of 50, including approximately: 297,000 hip fractures 547,000 vertebral fractures 380,000 wrist fractures 810,000 fractures at…  
    • At the age of 50, a white man has a: 6% chance of experiencing a hip fracture 5% chance of experiencing a vertebral fracture 2.5% chance of experiencing a forearm fracture  
    • At the age of 50, a white woman has a: 17.5% chance of experiencing a hip fracture 15.6% chance of experiencing a vertebral fracture 16% chance of experiencing a forearm fracture  
    • Each year, osteoporotic fractures in the U.S. lead to: >432,000 hospital admissions ~2.5 million medical office visits ~180,000 nursing home admissions  
    • Vertebral fractures are associated with a 20% reduction in QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) in the first 12 months, and a 15% reduction in the first 2 years.  
    • The 1-year morality after a hip fracture increases from 20% in individuals younger than 70 years, to close to 40% in those between 80 and 89.9 years old.  
    • Around 1 in 5 people who experience a hip fracture die within a year.  
    • Hip fracture raises the risk of mortality by 2.8 to 4 times during the first 3 months after the fracture.  
    • The risk of death in the first few weeks after hip fracture is 10 times more than the expected death rate.  
    • Women who experience a vertebral fracture are 2 to 3 times more likely to die of pulmonary causes than women without a fracture.  
    • Relatively healthy hip fracture patients report a 52% reduction in QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) in the first 12 months, and a 21% reduction in the first 2 years.  
    • A study that measured QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) reductions in people suffering from osteoporotic fractures found reductions ranging from 0.05 to 0.55 on a scale of 0 (represents death)…  
    • In a National Osteoporosis Foundation survey of women who had already had an osteoporotic fracture: 89% feared breaking another bone 80% were afraid they would be less able to perform daily activities 80%…  
    • Two or more vertebral fractures increase risk of a subsequent vertebral fracture by 12-fold.  
    • A prior vertebral fracture increases risk of another vertebral fracture by 5-fold for the year following.  
    • Osteoporosis accounts for close to 14% of all nursing home days.  
    • Of those who were ambulatory before their hip fracture, 1 in 5 end up needing long-term care afterwards–a situation that participants in this study said was less desirable than death.  
    • Six months after a hip fracture, many patients are unable to return to their activities of daily living at pre-fracture status: 49% could dress themselves–compared to 86% before the fracture 32% could…  
    • Half of people who fracture a hip will never be able to walk again without assistance.  
    • Six months after a hip fracture, only 15% of patients can walk across a room without assistance.  
    • More than 1/4 of individuals who suffer a hip fracture become disabled within a year.  
    • About 315,000 Americans aged 45 and older were admitted to hospitals with hip fractures in 2001–a majority with osteoporosis as the underlying cause.  
    • 1 in 2 women, and 1 in 4 men, over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime.  
    • “This 73-year-old wife and grandmother suffered her first fracture 18 years ago and has had eight additional fractures since that time. Each caused tremendous pain and required long hospital stays…