IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis

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MAY 12, 2002

Lisboa Congress Center, Portugal

Vertebral fractures in the European Union cost €329 million per annum

The costs associated with hospitalization of osteoporosis patients suffering vertebral fractures in the European Union is significant, although they vary significantly from one country to another, U.K. analysts reported at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis.

Henrik Finnern, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, analyzed data from all E.U. Ministries of Health and compared the annual costs of hospitalization of patients for vertebral fractures with those incurred by hospitalization for hip fractures. The presence or absence of neurological deficit was taken into consideration when assessing vertebral fractures, as well as the average length of stay and average daily cost per patient. Costs relate only to those vertebral fractures caused by low trauma.

The average length of hospitalization for vertebral fractures ranged from just five days in Greece to 48.2 days in the U.K. Differences in the length of hospital stays for male and female patients were also calculated, and ranged from less than a day in Austria to 20.2 days in Spain. Finnern says "the disease places a great burden on patients and healthcare systems". The total annual cost incurred by low-trauma vertebral fractures was estimated at €329 million. The hospital cost of a vertebral fracture was, on average, 76% of the cost of a hip fracture.

According to Finnern, further research is needed in order to determine the reasons for such variances in the duration of hospitalization between E.U. countries, especially with respect to the discrepancies between hospitalization times of men and women, in order to improve the quality of care of European patients with osteoporotic bone fractures.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is a worldwide organization dedicated to the fight against osteoporosis around the world. It brings together scientists, physicians, patient societies and corporate partners. Working hand in hand with its 139 member societies in 71 countries and other healthcare-related organizations around the world, IOF encourages awareness and prevention, early detection and improved treatment of osteoporosis.

The IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis is being held May 10-14, 2002 in Lisbon, Portugal. Some 5,000 participants are expected for the congress, expected to be the largest gathering ever of osteoporosis specialists from around the world. Abstracts from the congress are published in a supplementary volume of the journal Osteoporosis International. For more information visit the congress website:

IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis abstracts can be accessed on:

IOF website:

For more information contact Siofra Sharpe:

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