The societal burden of osteoporosis in Sweden

Bone. 2007 Jun;40(6):1602-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2007.02.027. Epub 2007 Mar 7.


In osteoporosis, the bone mass is decreased, thereby increasing the risk of fractures. Common osteoporotic fractures include those at the hip, the spine and the forearm. Fractures are a burden to society; in terms of costs, morbidity and mortality. The main objective of this study was to estimate the burden of osteoporosis in Sweden. The study used a prevalence-based bottom-up approach to estimate the total annual burden of osteoporosis in Sweden. The burden was assessed from a societal perspective including medical care costs, non-medical care costs, informal care and indirect costs. Moreover, the value of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) lost because of fractures was included in the total burden estimations. The total annual fracture cost was estimated at MSEK 5639, which is about 3.2% of the total health care costs in Sweden. Community care was the most important cost category accounting for 66% of the total annual cost followed by medical care costs (31%), informal care (2%) and indirect costs (1%). By combining the annual value of QALYs lost (MSEK 10354) and the annual fracture costs, the total annual societal burden of osteoporosis in Sweden was estimated at MSEK 15183. Assuming no changes in the age-differentiated fracture risk, the annual burden of osteoporosis was projected to increase to MSEK 26301 in the year 2050. The present study shows the societal burden of osteoporosis in Sweden to be higher than previously perceived. This burden is substantial and must be acknowledged as an important health problem. Osteoporosis-related fractures do not only lead to high medical care costs but also to high community care costs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost of Illness
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Forearm Injuries / economics
  • Forearm Injuries / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / economics*
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Health Care Costs
  • Hip Fractures / economics
  • Hip Fractures / etiology
  • Hospital Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / economics*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Spinal Fractures / economics
  • Spinal Fractures / etiology
  • Sweden