A cost explosion related to the treatment of fractures has been observed in Asia. In China the average length of hospital stay for a hip fracture is greater than that for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer or heart disease. In Hong Kong, China, it is estimated that the acute hospital care cost of hip fracture may amount to 2% of the total hospital budget.
Osteoporosis remains a neglected disease, with great urban-rural disparity:
Notwithstanding the burden of fragility fractures, osteoporosis remains greatly under diagnosed and under treated, and both health professional training and public awareness is sub optimal in most countries. With few exceptions, there is a serious lack of solid epidemiological data and research. In addition, DXA technology, considered the gold standard for measurement of bone mineral density, is not widely available or easily accessible in most developing Asian countries. At present most treatments, prevention and education efforts are limited to urban areas, whereas people in rural areas have little knowledge of osteoporosis or access to prevention programs, and diagnostic and treatment facilities. In the most populous countries like China and India, the majority of the population lives in rural areas (60% in China), where hip fractures are often treated conservatively at home instead of surgically in hospitals.
The result: premature death for as many as one in five, immense personal suffering, lost productivity and long-term dependence on family members.
Despite the severity of the problem, osteoporosis is being dangerously ignored as it competes with other diseases for scarce healthcare resources and recognition.
Together with local osteoporosis societies in the region, IOF urges immediate government action to prevent the rising tide of fractures which will have a profound socio-economic impact on millions of people and communities throughout Asia.
|Contact: Victoria Monti|
International Osteoporosis Foundation