Fragility fractures due to osteoporosis represent a significant and growing economic burden on healthcare systems and societies worldwide. As the economic stranglehold of fragility fractures tightens on healthcare systems, now is the time to take action and up-scale our response to this silent threat.
“IOF calls on health authorities to prioritise prevention, care standards and funding to support the effective management of fragility fractures, thus avoiding pain and suffering as well as the escalation of related costs.”
The burden of osteoporosis is enormous at both the human and socioeconomic level:
- Hip fractures cause the most morbidity with reported mortality rates up to 20-24% in the first year after a hip fracture. Loss of function and independence among survivors is profound, with 40% unable to walk independently, 60% requiring assistance a year later. Because of these losses, 33% are totally dependent or in a nursing home in the year following a hip fracture.
- By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase by 310% and 240% in women, compared to rates in 1990.
- Osteoporosis takes a huge personal and economic toll. In Europe, the disability due to osteoporosis is greater than that caused by cancers (with the exception of lung cancer) and is comparable or greater than that lost to a variety of chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and high blood pressure related heart disease.
- The health economic cost of fragility fractures is enormous and on the rise. In Europe alone, the cost is estimated at 37.5 billion (2017) and set to increase by 27% by 2030.
- The majority of hip fractures in Asia will occur in China, where the incidence of hip fracture will rise from 411,000 in 2015 to an estimate of more than 1 million in 2050.
- Latin Americans will suffer an estimated 655,648 hip fractures in 2050, at an estimated direct cost of $13 billion. The mortality rates in the year following a hip fracture are 23-30%.
How you can take action as a policy maker
- Learn about Fracture Liaison Services (FLS). The implementation of these coordinator-based models of post-fracture care in hospitals nationwide is a proven way to provide good patient care, prevent secondary fractures and reduce spiralling costs. Explore IOF’s Capture the Fracture® initiative website to learn about FLS and to discover which hospitals in your country have set up these important services.
- Contact IOF to find out how to take part in the IOF Post Fracture Care Initiative, which seeks to boost FLS implementation through targeted healthcare education and mentoring, among other key areas of action.
- Read IOF reports including the IOF Compendium of Osteoporosis, and regional audits, to learn more about the situation in your region and the numerous actions that can be taken by all stakeholders in your country.
- Support your national patient societies and work with medical associations to improve patient care. See the list of IOF member societies worldwide.
- Encourage your country’s institutions to endorse the IOF Global Patient Charter to show support for the rights of people with osteoporosis to timely diagnosis and treatment.