Complications of Osteoporosis


About complications: Complications of Osteoporosis are secondary conditions, symptoms, or other disorders that are caused by Osteoporosis. In many cases the distinction between symptoms of Osteoporosis and complications of Osteoporosis is unclear or arbitrary.

Complications list for Osteoporosis: The list of complications that have been mentioned in various sources for Osteoporosis includes:

  • Fractures - over 1.5 million annually caused by osteoporosis in the USA
  • Vertebrae fracture - approximately 700,000 vertebral (spinal) fractures annually in the USA
  • Hip fracture - about 300,000 hip fractures due to osteoporosis annually in the USA
  • Wrist fracture - about 250,000 wrist fractures in the USA
  • Other fractures - more than 300,000 fractures of other bones in the USA
  • Dowager’s hump (see Deformity symptoms)

Complications of Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including 300,000 hip fractures, approximately 700,000 vertebral (spinal) fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures, and more than 300,000 fractures at other sites. In the presence of osteoporosis, fractures can occur from normal lifting and bending, as well as from falls. Furthermore, osteoporotic fractures, particularly vertebral fractures, can be associated with disabling pain.

Of all the fractures, hip fractures have the greatest morbidity and socioeconomic impact. One in five patients is no longer alive 1 year following an osteoporotic hip fracture. This means people can and do die as a result of hip fractures. Fifty percent of those people experiencing a hip fracture will be unable to walk without assistance, and 28 percent will require long-term care. The burden of health care costs due to osteoporotic fractures is estimated to be $10 to $15 billion per year.1

Osteoporosis leads to 1.5 million fractures, or breaks, per year, mostly in the hip, spine and wrist, and costs $14 billion annually. One in two women over the age of 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture.2

When bones are weakened by osteoporosis, a simple fall can cause a fracture or break. This can result in a trip to the hospital, surgery, and possibly a long-term disabling condition. Osteoporosis is the cause of 1.5 million fractures each year. This includes more than 300,000 hip fractures. These fractures may put an end to independent living for as many as 1 out of 4 people with a broken hip. 3

Complication statistics for Osteoporosis: The following are statistics from various sources about the complications of Osteoporosis:

  • Osteoporosis causes over 1.5 million fractures each year in the USA (National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2004)
  • Osteoporosis causes over 300,000 hip fractures each year in the USA (National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2004)
  • Osteoporosis causes over 700,000 vertebral fractures each year in the USA (National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2004)
  • Osteoporosis causes over 250,000 wrist fractures each year in the USA (National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2004)
  • Osteoporosis accounts for 70% of all fractures for people over 45 in the US (NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases - National Resource Center)

1. excerpt from Osteoporosis Progress and Promise: NIAMS
2. excerpt from Osteoporosis: NWHIC
3. excerpt from Osteoporosis - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: June 5, 2003

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