Impact on sufferers
Fragility fractures are very common; up to one half of older women and one fifth of older men will suffer one during their lifetimes. And when individuals have suffered one fragility fracture, their risk of suffering second and subsequent fractures is doubled compared to those who are fracture free. Countless millions of older people throughout the world are caught in a vicious ‘fragility fracture cycle’ which results in disability, institutionalisation and premature death for many.
Hip fractures are, arguably, the most catastrophic fragility fracture for sufferers and their families:
Vertebral fractures exert a significant burden on sufferers, including:
The Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) has also reported that non-hip non-vertebral fractures have a detrimental effect on quality of life.
Hip fracture is a leading cause of institutionalisation of older people:
A large-scale study from Canada reported that fragility fractures at any skeletal site were associated with increased rates of institutionalisation.
Hip fractures have been reported to be the most common cause of accident-related death in older people in the United Kingdom. Thirty percent die within a year.
In 2010, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) estimated that 43,000 deaths in the European Union 27 countries were causally related to fragility fractures. Hip fractures were accountable for 50% of these deaths, 28% related to clinical vertebral fractures and the remaining 22% to other fragility fractures. A compendium of country-specific reports provided estimates for the individual countries. See:
Osteoporosis in the European Union: medical management, epidemiology and economic burden. Arch Osteoporos. 2013;8(1-2):136. PubMed ID 24113837
Osteoporosis in the European Union: a compendium of country-specific reports. Arch Osteoporos. 2013;8(1-2):137. PubMed ID 24113838