aging, cost of illness, fractures, health expenditures, osteoporosis



  1. Vanness, David J. PhD
  2. Tosteson, Anna N. A. ScD


We apply the broad concept of "opportunity cost" to estimate the economic consequences of osteoporosis in the United States. Opportunity costs count not only medical costs of treating osteoporotic fractures but also costs of screening and prevention, informal caregiving, and osteoporosis-related research and development. To examine the effect of an aging population, we extend published estimates of osteoporotic fracture-related medical costs to 2004 and project them to 2025. Osteoporosis imposes a large economic burden on the United States today, and that burden will likely increase substantially. More research is needed on the best use of our scarce resources in reducing that burden.