Osteoporosis is a disease where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone. It is the most common reason for a broken bone among people who are old.Bones that commonly break include the back bones, the bones of the forearm, and the hip.Until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms. Bones may weaken to such a degree that a break may occur with minor stress or spontaneously. Chronic pain and a decreased ability to carry out normal activities may occur following a broken bone.
The total annual fracture cost was estimated at MSEK 5639, which is about 3.2% of the total health care costs in Sweden. Community care was the most important cost category accounting for 66% of the total annual cost followed by medical care costs (31%), informal care (2%) and indirect costs (1%). By combining the annual value of QALYs lost (MSEK 10354) and the annual fracture costs, the total annual societal burden of osteoporosis in Sweden was estimated at MSEK 15183. The present study shows the societal burden of osteoporosis in Sweden to be higher than previously perceived. This burden is substantial and must be acknowledged as an important health problem. Osteoporosis-related fractures do not only lead to high medical care costs but also to high community care costs.