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Calcif Tissue Int. 1991;49 Suppl:S5-7.

Significance of osteoporosis: a growing international health care problem.

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Washington University Medical Center, Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, MO 63110.


The international incidences of osteoporosis and the hip fracture syndrome are increasing at alarming rates. The estimated increases in rates of fracture over the next decade may also prove to be conservative, because of progressive increases in numbers of elderly people who will fall because of muscular degeneration, failing vision, postural hypotension, and loss of cognitive function resulting from the ever-increasing abuse of mixtures of drugs. Changing patterns of hip fracture care, including extended use of hospital beds and of rehabilitation and nursing-home beds could lead to substantial and escalating annual costs in national health care budgets. Such a budget currently approximates 10 billion dollars in the United States alone.

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