Osteoporosis and osteopenia are increasingly prevalent conditions among older adults. Not only do the fractures associated with poor bone health have significant health consequences for the individual, but also their economic impact is placing increasing financial burden on governments and society. This study aimed to determine the direct economic cost of osteoporosis, osteopenia, and fractures among Australians aged 50 years and older in 2017. This study uses previous Australian data on the incidence and prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia together with recent Australian data on health service utilization after fracture to provide an estimate of the economic burden of osteoporosis. A bottom-up costing approach was used to determine the average direct health care and non-health care total costs of a fracture, as well as the average community health service costs of managing individuals with osteoporosis or osteopenia. The total direct cost of osteoporosis in Australia in 2017 was estimated to be $3.44 billion (AUD 2017, USD 2.77 billion). Treatment of fractures accounted for 68% of total direct costs, and non-fracture management of osteoporosis accounted for 32%. Hip fractures accounted for the highest proportion (43%) of the total direct cost of fractures, although fractures at “other” sites accounted for 38.5%. Fractures among individuals aged 70 years and older accounted for 74% of the direct costs (55% and 19% in women and men, respectively). Fracture costs in those with osteopenia accounted for 50% of direct fracture treatment costs. This up-to-date cost analysis estimated that costs in 2017 were three times higher than in 2007. These estimates will aid clinicians, policy makers, researchers, and health care organizations to acknowledge the economic importance of reducing osteoporosis-related fractures and associated costs. This provides a strong public health case to promote bone health that will assist in reducing future fracture-related costs.
- HEALTH ECONOMICS