The Societal Burden of Osteoporosis
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- Becker, D.J., Kilgore, M.L. & Morrisey, M.A. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2010) 12: 186. doi:10.1007/s11926-010-0097-y
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Osteoporosis currently affects 10 million Americans and is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually. The financial burden of osteoporosis is substantial, with annual direct medical costs estimated at 17 to 20 billion dollars. Most of these costs are related to the acute and rehabilitative care following osteoporotic fractures, particularly hip fractures. The societal burden of osteoporosis includes these direct medical costs and the monetary (eg, caregiver time) and nonmonetary costs of poor health. The aging of the US population is expected to increase the prevalence of osteoporosis and the number of osteoporotic fractures. Growth of the older adult population will pose significant challenges to Medicare and Medicaid, which bear most of the cost of osteoporosis. Efforts to address the looming financial burden must focus on reducing the prevalence of osteoporosis and the incidence of costly fragility fractures.