July 28, 2016
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Osteoporosis (cont.)

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What are the consequences of osteoporosis?

Osteoporotic bone fractures are responsible for considerable pain, decreased quality of life, lost workdays, and disability. Up to 30% of patients suffering a hip fracture will require long-term nursing-home care. Elderly patients can develop pneumonia and blood clots in the leg veins that can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) due to prolonged bed rest after the hip fracture. Osteoporosis has even been linked with an increased risk of death. Some 20% of women with a hip fracture will die in the subsequent year as an indirect result of the fracture. In addition, once a person has experienced a spine fracture due to osteoporosis, he or she is at very high risk of suffering another such fracture in the near future (next few years). About 20% of postmenopausal women who experience a vertebral fracture will suffer a new vertebral fracture of bone in the following year.

Why is osteoporosis an important public-health issue?

  • In the U.S., 44 million people have low bone density (10 million have osteoporosis, and 34 million have osteopenia). This amounts to 55% of the U.S. population aged 50 years and older.
  • One in two Caucasian women will fracture a bone due to osteoporosis in her lifetime.
  • In the U.S., direct health-care costs from osteoporosis fractures amount to a billion dollars, without even taking into account the indirect costs, such as lost days at work and productivity.
  • Approximately 20% of those who experience a hip fracture will die in the year following the fracture.
  • One-third of hip-fracture patients are discharged to a nursing home within the year after fracture.
  • Only one-third of hip-fracture patients regain their pre-fracture level of function.

With the aging of America, the number of people with osteoporosis-related fractures will increase exponentially. The pain, suffering, and overall impact on health and economic costs will be enormous.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/osteoporosis/article.htm

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