What is the prevalence of osteoporosis in the US?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), in the United States in 2010 more than 10 million adults age 50 years and older had osteoporosis and more than 43 million had low bone mineral density (BMD). In the United States in 2015, as many as 2 million Medicare beneficiaries sustained 2.3 million osteoporotic fractures. Within 12 months of experiencing a new osteoporotic fracture, approximately 15% of patients suffered one or more subsequent fractures and nearly 20% died. Mortality was highest in those with hip fracture, with 30% dying within 12 months. [68] NOF announced in 2018 that approximately 10.2 million adults in the United States have osteoporosis, with an additional 43.4 million having low bone mass.

Most studies assessing the prevalence and incidence of osteoporosis use the rate of fracture as a marker for the presence of this disorder, although BMD also relates to risk of disease and fracture. The risk of new vertebral fractures increases by a factor of 2-2.4 for each standard deviation (SD) decrease of BMD measurement. Women and men with metabolic disorders associated with secondary osteoporosis have a 2- to 3-fold higher risk of hip and vertebral fractures.

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