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Osteoporosis-linked fractures rise dramatically

Research Activities, September 2009

The rate of patients hospitalized for treatment of hip, pelvis, and other fractures associated with osteoporosis jumped by 55 percent between 1995 and 2006, according to the latest data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle and weak. Fractures associated with osteoporosis can be slow to heal, and they also can cause debilitating pain, disability, deformities, and occasionally death. AHRQ's study also found that fractures associated with osteoporosis:

  • Accounted for one-fourth of the roughly 1 million hospitalizations in 2006 of patients with osteoporosis.
  • Cost hospitals $2.4 billion in 2006.
  • Caused women to be six times more likely to be hospitalized than men.
  • Involved mostly older patients: 90 percent of hospitalizations were for patients aged 65 and older and 37 percent for patients aged 85 and older.
  • Were highest in the Midwest (107 per 100,000 people) and lowest in the West (68 per 100,000 people).

These data are based on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Brief #76, U.S. Hospitalizations Involving Osteoporosis and Injury, 2006, available at http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb76.jsp. The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals. The report also uses statistics from a special disparities analysis file created from the HCUP 2006 State Inpatient Databases.

For more information about osteoporosis, go to Osteoporosis Treatments that Help Prevent Broken Bones: A Guide for Women after Menopause, at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/.

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Current as of September 2009
Internet Citation: Osteoporosis-linked fractures rise dramatically: Research Activities, September 2009. September 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/sep09/0909RA36.html