Important Facts from the National Osteoporosis Foundation

In older women, the incidence of fractures linked to osteoporosis is greater than the incidence of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer COMBINED.

34 million U.S. men and women have a low bone density and 10 million have osteoporosis. Compare this with 23 million diabetics and 73 million patients with hypertension in the U.S.

This condition causes in 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures per year, of which 700,000 are spine fractures, 300,000 are hip fractures and 250,000 are wrist fractures.

In women, the incidence of vertebral fractures begins around age 55 or 60 and rises in a linear fashion thereafter. Many fractures of the spine go unrecognized even on regular x-rays and result in height loss with spine deformity (known as kyphosis or dowager's hump). This greatly diminishes quality of life, causes distortion of body image, lessens self-esteem, causes decreased lung capacity and increases mortality.

Hip fractures begin to rise at about age 65 in women and 75 in men. Most are caused by a fall from a standing height but 5% occur spontaneously (the fracture leads to the fall).

20% of those with a hip fracture die within one year.

50% of hip fracture survivors are permanently incapacitated.

20% will require long-term nursing home care. In a study reported in the American Journal of Medicine in 2000, of 170 patients hospitalized for hip fracture less than 10% were ever diagnosed or treated for osteoporosis.

In 2005, the cost of osteoporosis in the U.S. was $17 billion, half of which was for hospitalization, 30% for home care. The projected cost for total fractures in the year 2025 is $25 billion.

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