, Volume 5, Issue 1-2, pp 1-6

Epidemiology, costs, and burden of osteoporosis in Argentina, 2009

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Abstract

Summary

Osteoporosis is a major public health concern for elderly subjects. Old age is a risk factor for fragility fractures; countries with aging population face a heavy burden of fractures and their consequences.

Introduction

In 2009, the total population of Argentina was 40 million, with 10 million inhabitants aged >50 years. Population will grow 13% by 2050 and reach 53 million, but the elderly population will reach 19.5 million.

Discussion

Local bone mineral density studies reveal that two out of four postmenopausal women have osteopenia, one has osteoporosis, and one has a normal bone mineral density. Around 3.3 million women will suffer from osteopenia in 2025 and 5.24 million in 2050. Although the rate of fragility fractures is higher in patients with osteoporosis, the absolute number of fractures is higher in osteopenic patients. In Argentina, the mean annual rate of hip fractures is 488/100,000 inhabitants aged above 50 years, with a 2.6:1 F/M ratio. Thus, over 34,000 hip fractures occur every year among the aged populationwith an average 90 such fractures per day.

Conclusion

The Latin American Vertebral Osteoporosis Study found an overall 16.2% prevalence of vertebral fractures in Argentinean women aged 50 years or over. Hospitalization costs of hip and vertebral fractures in Argentina exceed 190 million USD per year. Consequently, the costs of osteoporosis for the public health system are staggering; however, the federal or the provincial governments of Argentina do not give the disease a high priority. To conclude, efforts for the prevention and management of osteoporosis are urgently needed.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11657-010-0044-6