Researchers in the UK have developed a new model to describe the current and future burden of postmenopausal osteoporosis in different national settings.
The findings, published in Osteoporosis International on behalf of the International Osteoporosis Foundation’s committee of scientific advisors, were developed and validated using Swedish data. It can be used to forecast the incidence and prevalence of fractures not only by age and calendar year, but also by bone mineral density (BMD) category. It provides a high degree of accuracy, as the predictions of fracture rates for all fracture sites were within a 5% margin of error compared with published data when averaged across ages, according to a press release.
The incidence of osteoporotic fractures increases markedly with age and, given the rapidly aging populations in many countries of the world, there is a real need to predict the future burden of fractures, according to researchers.
For example in Europe, where the proportion of the population age 65 years or older will increase from 17% in 2008 to 30% in 2060, a serious increase in the number of osteoporotic fractures is expected. Even more marked increases are projected in other regions of the world, particularly in Asia where a 7.6-fold increase in elderly people is predicted between 2000 and 2050.
The new model provides a potentially powerful tool to inform health policy decision making. Early diagnosis and effective fracture prevention strategies could translate into huge cost savings for health care systems around the world.