Cost of Osteoporosis Treatment Rises 118 Percent

September 25, 2019

The cost of treating osteoporosis in the United states has risen 118 percent over the last 19 years, shows an analysis presented this week at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Orlando.

The cost of treating osteoporosis in the United states has risen 118 percent over the last 19 years, shows an analysis presented this week at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Orlando.

The study, by Nicole Wright, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, compared the direct costs associated with osteoporosis treatment between 1998-2000 ($28.1 billion) to treatment costs between 2012-2014 ($73.6 billion). Researchers found an equal distribution of costs between ambulatory care, inpatient, and prescription medication costs.

The study, done as part of the  United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI), focused on prevalence, fractures, health care utilization and economic burden. Data from the 2010-2014 National Inpatient Sample (NIS) and the National Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) was used to determine the prevalence of major fragility fractures (hip, spine, pelvis, femur, wrist, and humerus) and to assess temporal trends in fragility fractures. Data from the National Inpatient Sample was used to evaluate health care utilization. The Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) was used to estimate the economic burden of osteoporosis care.

Dr. Wright estimated that 2.8 percent of the 19.5 million discharges and 0.9 percent of the 46.7 million emergency department visits in the U.S. were for fragility fractures. Their analysis showed that whites have the highest prevalence at all fractures sites, which declined from from 2010 to 2014 (12 to 22 perecent).

Other findings:

  • There appears to be more fractures of the hip and femure (3.5 and 1.4 percent, respectively).

  • Men, younger individuals, and non-Hispanic blacks had longer hospital stays than other groups.

  • The longest length of stay  in the hosptial was for femurs (6.1 days) and the shortest was for wrist fractures (3.6 days).

Osteoporosis of the femoral neck and lumbar spine affects 11 percent of adults in the U.S. who are 50 years or older. It affects women (16.5 percent) more than men (5.1 percent) and has a higher prevalence in Asian women (40.0 percent), followed by Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks.

For more information on new developments in osteoporosis treatment from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) annual meeting held in Orlando this week, please visit our sister site, Rheumatology Network.

REFERENCE:  Nicole Wright Ph.D. " [1079] The Burden of Osteoporosis in the United States – A US Bone and Joint Initiative Report." American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting. Sept. 22, 2019.