Research presented at the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis by investigators from the UK and Sweden estimates that the economic burden of fragility fractures in five major European countries totals 31 billion Euro, with Germany bearing the highest costs. A majority of the economic burden is shown to be related to the costs incurred during the 1st year after the fracture, while pharmacological prevention and treatment management constitutes only a marginal share of the total economic cost.
Hip fractures contributed 56% to the overall costs, vertebral fractures 5%, wrist fractures 2% and a combined group of "other" fractures represented 37% of the total. Costs in Germany totaled 9.37 billion Euro, followed by Italy at 6.7 and the UK at 5.8 billion Euro.
The total annual economic burden of all fragility fractures in the six countries studied was found to be 31 billion Euro.
IOF President John Kanis, co-author of the study, stated, "Fragility fractures due to osteoporosis cause pain and disability, often having a severe impact on the quality of life of millions of Europeans. This important study reveals the enormous economic cost of fragility fractures. Prevention of fractures through early risk assessment and identification of those in need of treatment is the key to reducing the costs to national health care systems throughout Europe."
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