Clinical burden and incremental cost of fractures in postmenopausal women in the United Kingdom

Bone. 2012 Sep;51(3):324-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2012.05.020. Epub 2012 Jun 6.


This cohort study of postmenopausal women in the United Kingdom aged ≥50years determined the incremental cost of health care and clinical outcomes in the 12months following incident, selected fractures (non-vertebral non-hip [NVNHF], vertebral [VF] and multiple [MF]). Incremental costs and outcomes of the fracture cohorts were compared with those of cohorts comprised of women without fractures who were individually matched on age and comorbidity. Cohorts were identified from The Health Improvement Network database, a primary health care database, from 2001 to 2005. We estimated 1-year incremental costs (hospitalizations; general practice, accident/emergency, and referral visits; and prescription medications) associated with each fracture type. Descriptive analyses examined occurrence of subsequent fractures and death. No long-term health care costs or outcomes were assessed. Overall, 14,030 women had NVNHF, 1471 had VF, and 193 had MF. The risk of death was greater for women with fractures than for women in the non-fracture cohorts. Mean incremental cost for fractures compared with no fractures was £1152 for VF; £690 for NVNHF, and £2581 for MF. Of the total incremental cost, hospitalizations represented 54%-90% and medications represented 7%-29%. In all fracture cohorts, most of the total annual costs were concentrated in the 6months after the date of fracture. Fractures among postmenopausal women represent an important burden to the health system due to the increase in health resource utilization and related costs. In this study, hospitalizations were the main driver of the overall incremental cost during the 12months following the fracture. Mortality in women in the selected fracture cohorts was higher than in women in the non-fracture cohorts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / complications*
  • Fractures, Bone / economics*
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Resources / economics
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / complications*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / economics*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom