Osteoporosis-related hospitalizations rise

Share this content:

More Americans are being hospitalized for osteoporosis-related fractures and other injuries, according to a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The number of people hospitalized for these conditions climbed 55% since 1995, the study found. In 1995, the rate of hospital stays for osteoporosis-related injuries was 55 per 100,000 people; in 2006, it was 85 per 100,000. Hospital stays in 2006 numbered more than 254,000 for injuries related to the bone-thinning disease. Fractures of the hip, spine and ribs were among the most common. Women accounted for nearly 89% of hospital stays in 2006, and adults older than 65 accounted for about 90%.

Contributing to the problem is the aging population, along with a lack of exercise and inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, which help to build bone mass, according to a scientist with the AHRQ. Another factor could be the increased use of certain medications that can lower bone mass. These include diuretics to treat high blood pressure and proton-pump inhibitors used to treat acid reflux. Seniors may be admitted to nursing homes either for short-term or long-term stays after suffering from such fractures.