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Global Study Reveals Differences in Standard of Care for Osteoporosis Across the World
Date:5/25/2008

Since patient recruitment for GLOW was not linked to osteoporosis, the study is meant to provide a view to the bone health and quality of care of "typical" community-dwelling women in multiple geographies.

In Europe, 51% of GLOW participants reported having a bone density test, a valuable tool for diagnosing osteoporosis. This contrasts to other geographies where testing frequency was reported at 79%. Among women considered to be at high risk of fracture, only 20% of European women were taking a bone medication versus 30% of North American/Australian women.

"Despite reliable screening methods and multiple therapeutic options being available, osteoporosis remains largely under-diagnosed and under-treated," said Professor Pierre Delmas, Professor of medicine and rheumatology at University of Lyon, France, and GLOW executive committee co-chair. "Without some improvements, the burden of fractures on our families and on our healthcare systems will only grow with the aging population."

Osteoporosis-related fractures are an international public health problem responsible for increased mortality, functional impairment and additional health care costs(i),(ii). Direct costs of osteoporotic fractures in Europe alone are expected to rise from EUR31.7 billion in 2000 to EUR76.7 billion by 2050 (iii). In women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in a hospital than diabetes, heart attack or breast cancer(iv).

Hip fractures are the most serious of osteoporosis-related fractures, causing chronic pain, reduced mobility, disability, loss of independence and an increased risk of death(i),(ii). An estimated 179,000 men and 711,000 women in Europe suffer a hip fracture each year(iii).

GLOW is a prospective, longitudinal, observational study of women 55 years of age and older who visited a primary care physician during the two years prior to the study. Over 60,000 women have been recruited through 700 primary care physicians
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SOURCE University of Massachusetts Medical School
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