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The current economic burden of illness of osteoporosis in Canada

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Hopkins RB1,2,3, Burke N4, Von Keyserlingk C4, Leslie WD5, Morin SN6, Adachi JD7, Papaioannou A8,7, Bessette L9, Brown JP9, Pericleous L10, Tarride J4,8.


We estimate the current burden of illness of osteoporosis in Canada is double ($4.6 billion) our previous estimates ($2.3 billion) due to improved data capture of the multiple encounters and services that accompany a fracture: emergency room, admissions to acute and step-down non-acute institutions, rehabilitation, home-assisted or long-term residency support.


We previously estimated the economic burden of illness of osteoporosis-attributable fractures in Canada for the year 2008 to be $2.3 billion in the base case and as much as $3.9 billion. The aim of this study is to update the estimate of the economic burden of illness for osteoporosis-attributable fractures for Canada based on newly available home care and long-term care (LTC) data.


Multiple national databases were used for the fiscal-year ending March 31, 2011 (FY 2010/2011) for acute institutional care, emergency visits, day surgery, secondary admissions for rehabilitation, and complex continuing care, as well as national dispensing data for osteoporosis medications. Gaps in national data were supplemented by provincial and community survey data. Osteoporosis-attributable fractures for Canadians age 50+ were identified by ICD-10-CA codes. Costs were expressed in 2014 dollars.


In FY 2010/2011, the number of osteoporosis-attributable fractures was 131,443 resulting in 64,884 acute care admissions and 983,074 acute hospital days. Acute care costs were $1.5 billion, an 18 % increase since 2008. The cost of LTC was 33.4 times the previous estimate ($31 million versus $1.03 billion) because of improved data capture. The cost for rehabilitation and secondary admissions increased 3.4 fold, while drug costs decreased 19 %. The overall cost of osteoporosis was over $4.6 billion, an increase of 83 % from the 2008 estimate.


Since the 2008 estimate, new Canadian data on home care and LTC are available which provided a better estimate of the burden of osteoporosis in Canada. This suggests that our previous estimates were seriously underestimated.

Resource: Osteoporos Int. 2016 Oct;27(10):3023-32.