• osteoporosis;
  • epidemiology;
  • fractures;
  • health services and economics;
  • race/ethnicity


This study predicts the burden of incident osteoporosis-related fractures and costs in the United States, by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, and fracture type, from 2005 to 2025. Total fractures were >2 million, costing nearly $17 billion in 2005. Men account for >25% of the burden. Rapid growth in the disease burden is projected among nonwhite populations.

Introduction: The aging of the U.S. population will likely lead to greater prevalence of osteoporosis. Policy makers require precise projections of the disease burden by demographic subgroups and skeletal sites to effectively target osteoporosis intervention and treatment programs.

Materials and Methods: A state transition Markov decision model was used to estimate total incident fractures and costs by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and skeletal site for the U.S. population ≥50 years of age for 2005–2025.

Results: More than 2 million incident fractures at a cost of $17 billion are predicted for 2005. Total costs including prevalent fractures are more than $19 billion. Men account for 29% of fractures and 25% of costs. Total incident fractures by skeletal site were vertebral (27%), wrist (19%), hip (14%), pelvic (7%), and other (33%). Total costs by fracture type were vertebral (6%), hip (72%), wrist (3%), pelvic (5%), and other (14%). By 2025, annual fractures and costs are projected to rise by almost 50%. The most rapid growth is estimated for people 65–74 years of age, with an increase >87%. An increase of nearly 175% is projected for Hispanic and other subpopulations.

Conclusions: Osteoporosis prevention, treatment, and education efforts should address all skeletal sites, not just hip and vertebral, and appropriate attention is warranted for men and diverse race/ethnicity subgroups.