What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, literally meaning porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced, causing bones to break more easily. It affects more than 22 million women in the EU. Men are affected too.

More than 1/5 of women aged 50 years or more have osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually worldwide and over one-third of all osteoporotic fractures occur in Europe. The most common osteoporotic fractures are those at the hip, spine, forearm and humerus.

How big is the risk?
A 50-year-old woman has a 46% lifetime risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture.

The cost of osteoporosis, including pharmacological intervention in the EU in 2010 was estimated at €37 billion; costs of treating incident fractures represented 66% of this cost, pharmacological prevention 5% and long-term fracture care 29%.

For more in-depth information about osteoporosis, please visit the IOF website

Due to changes in population demography the number of men and women with osteoporosis in the EU will rise from 27.5 million in 2010 to 33.9 million in 2025, corresponding to an increase of 23%.


Source: Hernlund E et al. Osteoporosis in the European Union: medical management, epidemiology and economic burden. Arch Osteoporos 2013;8:136.

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