Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 659-671

First online:

A model of osteoporosis impact in Switzerland 2000–2020

  • Matthias SchwenkglenksAffiliated withECPM Executive Office, University HospitalEuropean Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine, University of Basel Email author 
  • , Kurt LippunerAffiliated withOsteoporosis Unit, Inselspital
  • , Hans Jörg HäuselmannAffiliated withCentre of Rheumatology and Bone Diseases, Klinik Im Park
  • , Thomas D. SzucsAffiliated withEuropean Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine, University of Basel

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The aim of our study was to develop a modeling framework suitable to quantify the incidence, absolute number and economic impact of osteoporosis-attributable hip, vertebral and distal forearm fractures, with a particular focus on change over time, and with application to the situation in Switzerland from 2000 to 2020. A Markov process model was developed and analyzed by Monte Carlo simulation. A demographic scenario provided by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and various Swiss and international data sources were used as model inputs. Demographic and epidemiologic input parameters were reproduced correctly, confirming the internal validity of the model. The proportion of the Swiss population aged 50 years or over will rise from 33.3% in 2000 to 41.3% in 2020. At the total population level, osteoporosis-attributable incidence will rise from 1.16 to 1.54 per 1,000 person-years in the case of hip fracture, from 3.28 to 4.18 per 1,000 person-years in the case of radiographic vertebral fracture, and from 0.59 to 0.70 per 1,000 person-years in the case of distal forearm fracture. Osteoporosis-attributable hip fracture numbers will rise from 8,375 to 11,353, vertebral fracture numbers will rise from 23,584 to 30,883, and distal forearm fracture numbers will rise from 4,209 to 5,186. Population-level osteoporosis-related direct medical inpatient costs per year will rise from 713.4 million Swiss francs (CHF) to CHF946.2 million. These figures correspond to 1.6% and 2.2% of Swiss health care expenditures in 2000. The modeling framework described can be applied to a wide variety of settings. It can be used to assess the impact of new prevention, diagnostic and treatment strategies. In Switzerland incidences of osteoporotic hip, vertebral and distal forearm fracture will rise by 33%, 27%, and 19%, respectively, between 2000 and 2020, if current prevention and treatment patterns are maintained. Corresponding absolute fracture numbers will rise by 36%, 31%, and 23%. Related direct medical inpatient costs are predicted to increase by 33%; however, this estimate is subject to uncertainty due to limited availability of input data.


Economics Epidemiology Europe Modeling studies Osteoporosis Switzerland