The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)

New data reveal increasing burden of osteoporosis in Europe

Rome, Italy (ots) - Every year 43,000 people die following osteoporotic fractures; reports show that European healthcare systems are not treating people at risk; burden and costs will rise dramatically by 2025.

Two landmark multi-stakeholder reports launched today - Osteoporosis in the European Union and the Scorecard for Osteoporosis in Europe - describe and compare the epidemiology, burden, and management of osteoporosis and fractures in all 27 member states of the European Union (EU).

Twenty-two million women and 5.5 million men in the EU are estimated to have osteoporosis, resulting in 3.5 million new fractures each year. Fractures, especially of the hip, can have devastating consequences, including severe pain, disability and even premature death: in 2010, 43,000 men and women died following osteoporotic fractures.

The direct cost of treating fractures due to osteoporosis in the EU is estimated at E37 billion each year. Large inequalities in osteoporosis care remain across Europe: services are not aligned or operating efficiently enough to reduce the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis. Furthermore, there will be a 22% (women) and 17% (men) increase in the population aged 50 or over by 2025 - forecasting a dramatic increase in the future number of osteoporotic fractures.

International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) President Professor John Kanis, warned, "57% of high risk individuals remain undiagnosed and untreated. European healthcare systems are poorly equipped to deal with the current burden of osteoporosis and the expected surge in the number of fracture patients in the coming years."

"Implementing effective systems to identify and treat high risk individuals would ultimately save lives, improve quality of life in the senior population, and save taxpayers billions of euros in healthcare costs," he said.

The reports will be available at www.iofbonehealth.org and http://link.springer.com/journal/11657

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