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Monday, 24 February 2014

Osteoporosis costing all Australians: a new burden of disease analysis – 2012 to 2022

Osteoporosis costing all Australians: a new burden of disease analysis – 2012 to 2022 updates previous burden of disease analyses undertaken in 2001 and 2007, and shows little progress is being made in preventing and managing osteoporosis in Australia.

Key Findings include :

Poor bone health: 2012-2022

  • 4.74 million Australians over 50 years of age (66% of people over 50) have osteoporosis or osteopenia or poor bone health.
  • Based on the 4.74 million Australians with poor bone health, 22% have osteoporosis and 78% have osteopenia.
  • By 2022, it is estimated there will be 6.2 million Australians over the age of 50 with osteoporosis or osteopenia. That is a 31% increase from 2012.

High fracture rates: 2012-2022

  • By 2022 there will be 1 fracture every 2.9 minutes. That is 501 fractures per day and 3,521 fracture per week.
  • This compares to a fracture every 8.1 minutes in 2001 and a fracture every 5-6 minutes in 2007.

Alarming costs to Government, the community and to individuals

  • In 2012, the total costs of osteoporosis and osteopenia in Australians over 50 years of age were $2.75 billion.
  • It is predicted that in 2022, the total costs will be $3.84 billion (2012$).

Call to action

Previous reports have included recommendations for action. What is telling is that the recommendations here are the same as previous reports.

  • That a re-fracture prevention initiative be funded to follow-up and co-ordinate the care of every Australian who has sustained their first fragility fracture.
  • That bone density testing for menopausal women aged 50 with risk factors for osteoporosis be reimbursed.
  • That more funding be provided for education and awareness programs about healthy bones as prevention is best, and the high rates of osteopenia are alarming.
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