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Treatment gap leaves many older adults at unnecessary risk of fracture
Date:6/16/2011

In Europe, a serious treatment gap is leaving millions of people at high risk of fragility fractures.

The findings were revealed in 'Osteoporosis: Burden, health care provision and opportunities in the EU', a landmark report prepared by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) in collaboration with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA). The report found that only a minority of high risk patients are receiving treatment to prevent fractures - contrary to the recommendations of most national osteoporosis guidelines and despite continued advances in risk assessment and the wide-spread availability of effective medication.

Approximately 6% of all men and 21% of all women aged 50-84 years in Europe's five largest countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) and in Sweden, are estimated to have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a chronic disease, more common in older adults, that leaves people at higher risk of bone fracture. Of most concern are spinal and hip fractures which may result in long-term disability, loss of independence and even early death. In the six countries studied specifically in the report, approximately 34,000 deaths annually are caused by fractures the equivalent of 80 deaths per day. The health care cost, including pharmacological prevention, was estimated at Euro 30.7 billion for the six countries alone corresponding to 3.5% of the total spending on health care in those countries.

The report found that a serious treatment gap continues in Europe, for many reasons, including:

  • Recommendations in national management guidelines are not always implemented;
  • There is insufficient case-finding, i.e., those at risk of fracture (including secondary fracture) are not being identified and recommended for treatment;
  • DXA resources to measure Bone Mineral Density (BMD) are insufficient in 40% of European countries (despite the fact that BMD is significantly more
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Contact: L. Misteli
info@iofbonehealth.org
022-994-0100
International Osteoporosis Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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