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January 3, 2012
Osteoporosis Rates To Skyrocket Almost 30 Percent in Europe By 2025

The healthcare costs of rising European osteoporosis rates will reach 38.5bn Euros by 2025 from 30.7bn Euros in 2010, according to a study that reflected on the problem of an increasingly aged population.

The study, published in the Archives of Osteoporosis, notes that in 2010 there were 34,000 bone fracture-related deaths in the five biggest EU economies -- Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy. Sweden was also included.

Half of those fractures were hip fractures and the report estimated that all fractures added up to a loss in quality-adjusted life years (QALY) of about 850,000.

The report highlights the usual treatments of drugs and other conventional interventions but sadly noted that patients only received preventative advice about nutrients like calcium and vitamin D that have been backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to boost bone health and even reduce the likelihood of falling in the elderly when patients were receiving, "bone protective therapy".

Another discouraging fact is that patients who use osteoporosis medication (oral bisphosphonates) are twice as likely to develop the cancer than those who have not used the drugs.

Increasing bone mass density testing is another intervention the report recommends.

It noted that that the healthcare cost exceeds that of for migraine, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease, and registers at about the same level as rheumatoid arthritis.

Fracture rates will rise by 29% to 3.2 trillion in 2025.

"The assessment of best practices in prevention and treatment and the adoption of these across countries can potentially result in significant reductions in the burden of osteoporosis," the authors wrote.

They continued: "In the few health economic analysis that have been published so far the results have shown that osteoporosis management programmes are a cost-effective intervention for the prevention of fractures. More evidence is needed both on the clinical outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of these programmes; however, it is likely that they will become more widely adopted in the future."

Archives of Osteoporosis


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