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Osteoporos Int. 2013 Feb;24(2):581-93. doi: 10.1007/s00198-012-1997-7. Epub 2012 May 10.

Estimating the excess costs for patients with incident fractures, prevalent fractures, and nonfracture osteoporosis.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.



Based on a population age 50+, significant excess costs relative to matched controls exist for patients with incident fractures that are similar in relative magnitude to other chronic diseases such as stroke or heart disease. Prevalent fractures also have significant excess costs that are similar in relative magnitude to asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Cost of illness studies for osteoporosis that only include incident fractures may ignore the long-term cost of prevalent fractures and primary preventive care. We estimated the excess costs for patients with incident fractures, prevalent fractures, and nonfracture osteoporosis relative to matched controls.


Men and women age 50+ were selected from administrative records in the province of Manitoba, Canada for the fiscal year 2007-2008. Three types of cases were identified: (1) patients with incident fractures in the current year (2007-2008), (2) patients with prevalent fractures in previous years (1995-2007), and (3) nonfracture osteoporosis patients identified by specific pharmacotherapy or low bone mineral density. Excess resource utilization and costs were estimated by subtracting control means from case means.


Seventy-three percent of provincial population age 50+ (52 % of all men and 91 % of all women) were included (121,937 cases, 162,171 controls). There were 3,776 cases with incident fracture (1,273 men and 2,503 women), 43,406 cases with prevalent fractures (15,784 men and 27,622 women) and 74,755 nonfracture osteoporosis cases (7,705 men and 67,050 women). All incident fractures had significant excess costs. Incident hip fractures had the highest excess cost: men $44,963 (95 % CI: $38,498-51,428) and women $45,715 (95 % CI: $36,998-54,433). Prevalent fractures (other than miscellaneous or wrist fractures) also had significant excess costs. No significant excess costs existed for nonfracture osteoporosis.


Significant excess costs exist for patients with incident fractures and with prevalent hip, vertebral, humerus, multiple, and traumatic fractures. Ignoring prevalent fractures underestimate the true cost of osteoporosis.

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