Introduction | Burden of Disease | Current Treatment Paradigm

Burden of Disease


  • The annual direct cost of treating osteoporosis fractures of people in the workplace in the USA, Canada and Europe alone is approximately US$48 billion.
  • The worldwide cost burden of osteoporosis (for all ages) is estimated to increase to US$131.5 billion by 2050.
  • Only one in two vertebral fractures is diagnosed by a physician.
  • Less than 10% to 20% of all osteoporosis patients receive timely treatment.
  • Worldwide, lifetime risk for osteoporotic fractures in women is at least 30% and probably closer to 40%. In men, the risk is 13%.
  • Worldwide, the number of hip fractures could rise from 1.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million by 2050. The most dramatic increase is expected to be in Asia during the next decades
  • Osteoporosis is second only to cardiovascular disease as a leading health care problem, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Osteoporosis afflicts an estimated one-third of women aged 60 to 70, and two-thirds of women aged 80 or older; approximately 200 million women worldwide suffer from osteoporosis.
  • Incidence of osteoporotic fractures likely to double during next half-century.


  • 40% of people over the age of 70 years suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • 80% of patients with osteoarthritis have some degree of limitation of movement, and 25% cannot perform their major daily activities of life.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis leads to work disability (total cessation of employment) within a decade of its onset, in between 51% and 59% of patients.
  • The WHO Scientific Group estimate that the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in most industrialized countries varies between 0.3% and 1%.
  • 49 million people in the US have self-reported, doctor-diagnosed arthritis and it is the most common cause of long term disability in the US.
  • In the USA the disease was estimated to cost US$86 billion annually in 1997 dollars, with over US$51 billion in medical costs.
  • By 2020 it is estimated that 60 million Americans (20% of the population) will have arthritis.
  • There are an estimated 103 million people with arthritis and rheumatism across Europe, about 14% of the population. Almost half are below the age of retirement, but many retire early on account of ill-health or disability.
  • In 2000, arthritis costs in Australia were estimated to total almost $9 billion ($2.2 billion in direct costs and $6.7 billion in indirect costs).