Osteoporosis International

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 625–632

The burden of osteoporosis in Latin America

  • Jorge Morales-Torres
  • Sergio Gutiérrez-Ureña
  • Osteoporosis Committee of Pan-American League of Associations for Rheumatology (PANLAR)
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-004-1596-3

Cite this article as:
Morales-Torres, J., Gutiérrez-Ureña, S. & Osteoporosis Committee of Pan-American League of Associations for Rheumatology (PANLAR) Osteoporos Int (2004) 15: 625. doi:10.1007/s00198-004-1596-3


Osteoporosis causes considerable morbidity, mortality and resource utilization in industrialized nations. Its burden is relatively well known in United States and Canada, but poorly studied in the rest of America. This study aimed to discover the burden of osteoporosis in Latin America through a review of literature and publicly available information. In this transversal and descriptive study, information from 20 countries in Latin American region was collected from diverse published and electronic sources. Rheumatologists and bone specialists were asked for additional information through a questionnaire created by consensus. In the year 2000, the population of the Latin America and Caribbean region was 524 million from diverse ethnic origins. On average, 5.5% of the population is 65 years and older. However, with life expectancy higher than 70 years in most countries, a significant growth in the elderly population is anticipated. Studies using World Health Organization’s criteria for osteoporosis report 12–18% of women 50 years and older with vertebral osteoporosis and 8–22% with proximal femur osteoporosis. Community based studies in Argentina reported between 263 and 331 hip fractures per 100,000 people 50 years and older. Hospital based studies in Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela reported between 40 and 362 hip fractures per 100,000 persons aged 50 and more. Between 17 and 37% of hip fracture sufferers die in the year following fracture. Prevalence of vertebral fractures in community-dwelling women aged 50 and more in Mexico is 19.35%. Data on other fractures are rare. Direct costs of a hip fracture ranged from $4500 to $6000. National gross income per capita in the region ranges from $410 to $7550. The burden of osteoporosis varies across countries with differences in populations and health resources. Considerable support for research is required, since numerous gaps in knowledge need to be filled to face the anticipated explosive growth in osteoporotic fractures.


Burden of Illness Epidemiology Osteoporosis Osteoporotic fractures 

Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Morales-Torres
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sergio Gutiérrez-Ureña
    • 2
  • Osteoporosis Committee of Pan-American League of Associations for Rheumatology (PANLAR)
  1. 1.Osteoporosis UnitHospital Aranda de la ParraLeónMexico
  2. 2.Department of RheumatologyHospital Civil de Guadalajara “Fray Antonio Alcalde”. URHIA, CUCS, Universidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico
  3. 3.Privada Florencia 107LeónMéxico

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