Original Article

Archives of Osteoporosis

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 209-218

First online:

Burden of postmenopausal osteoporosis in Germany: estimations from a disease model

  • A. GauthierAffiliated withAmaris Email author 
  • , J. A. KanisAffiliated withUniversity of Sheffield
  • , Y. JiangAffiliated withAmaris
  • , K. DreinhöferAffiliated withAbteilung für muskuloskeletale Rehabilitation, Prävention und Versorgungsforschung, Centrum für Sportwissenschaften und Sportmedizin (CSSB), Centrum für Muskuloskeletale Chirurgie (CMSC), Charité Universitätsmedizin BerlinAbteilung Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie, Medical Park Berlin Humboldtmühle
  • , M. MartinAffiliated withOptumInsight
  • , J. CompstonAffiliated withUniversity of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
  • , F. BorgströmAffiliated withLIME/MMC, Karolinska Institutet
  • , C. CooperAffiliated withUniversity of SouthamptonUniversity of Oxford
  • , E. McCloskeyAffiliated withAcademic Unit of Bone Metabolism, Metabolic Bone Centre, University of Sheffield

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This article describes the adaptation of a model assessing the incidence of osteoporotic fractures and prevalence of postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO) in Germany.


The purpose of this paper is to estimate the epidemiological burden of PMO in Germany from 2010 to 2020.


For each year of the study, the ‘incident cohort’ (women experiencing a first osteoporotic fracture) was identified and run through a Markov model using 1-year cycles until 2020. Health states were based on the number of fractures (1, 2 or ≥3) and deaths. Although the fracture site was not explicitly accounted for in the model structure, the site (hip, vertebral, non-hip non-vertebral) was tracked for each health state. Transition probabilities reflected the site-specific risk of death and of subsequent fractures. Model inputs included population size and life tables from 1970 to 2020, incidence of fracture and BMD by age in the general population (mean and standard deviation).


In 2010, the number of osteoporotic fractures was estimated at 349,560 in women aged 50 years or more, including 80,177 hip and 48,550 vertebral fractures. By 2020, the population is expected to grow by 13.1 %. As a result, the number of fractures is predicted to increase by 15.2 %. The improvement in life expectancy is predicted to lead to a relatively smaller increase in the number of deaths attributable to fractures (+12.8 %), but also to an increase in the prevalence of women with multiple prior fractures (+25.5 %).


The PMO disease model, first developed for Sweden, was adapted to Germany. Due to the ageing of the population, the number of osteoporotic fractures is expected to increase markedly by +15.2 % by 2020.


Bone mineral density Epidemiology Fracture Osteoporosis T score Germany