, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 493-500
Date: 12 Mar 2014

The Burden of Osteoporosis in California, 1998

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This study estimates the cost of osteoporosis in California, including health care services and the value of lives lost prematurely to the disease. Costs are estimated for diagnoses of “osteoporosis” and for the proportion of spine, forearm, hip and other fractures that are caused by the disease. The additional costs resulting from a secondary diagnosis of osteoporosis are also included. Osteoporosis accounted for over $2.4 billion in direct health care costs in 1998, and over $4 million in lost productivity resulting from premature death. Most of the cost results from hip fractures and other fractures. In fact, only 15% of costs are for people with a diagnosis of “osteoporosis” per se, and, of this group, most of the costs are associated with a secondary, not a primary diagnosis. The disease is largely a diagnosis of older white women: three-quarters of the hospitalization costs are incurred by women, 80% of those hospitalized are white, and three-quarters are over age 65 years. As would be expected, Medicare pays for most of the hospital care – almost three-fourths of the total. Nursing home care represents the largest cost for people with osteoporosis, accounting for 59% of the money spent treating the disease.