Hospitalisation for osteoporosis

People with osteoporosis can be hospitalised for a range of reasons, including minimal trauma fractures. These fractures can occur from a minor bump, fall from a standing height or an event that would not normally result in a fracture if the bone was healthy. Minimal trauma fractures generate substantial costs to the community, including with direct costs in terms of hospital treatment.

Data from the AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD), show that, in 2014–15 there were 5,891 hospitalisations with a principal diagnosis of osteoporosis for people aged 50 and over. The hospitalisation rate for people with osteoporosis was greatest for people aged 85 or over (346 per 100,000 population). After adjusting for age, the hospitalisation rate was higher in females than in males (103 compared to 37 per 100,000 population).

Figure 1: Rate of hospitalisation for osteoporosis, people aged 50 and over, by age and sex, 2014–15

The line chart shows that the number of hospitalisation for minimal trauma hip fracture among people aged 50 and over increased by 23%25 (from 15,947 in 2005–06 to 19,567 in 2014–15). The number increased by 29%25 for males, and 20%25 for females.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (Data table).

Minimal trauma fractures

Minimal trauma fractures can occur as a result of osteoporosis, which is commonly undiagnosed prior to a fracture. Minimal trauma fractures can also occur in people who do not have osteoporosis. A range of other factors, such as high bone turnover, low body weight and a tendency to fall, also contribute to minimal trauma fracture risk. As osteoporosis is not common before the age of 50, minimal trauma fractures occurring in people age 50 or over are more likely to be a result of osteoporosis.

In 2014–15:

  • there were 65,642 hospitalisations for minimal trauma fracture in people aged 50 and over
  • the hospitalisation rate for minimal trauma fractures in people aged 50 and over was higher in females (1,195 per 100,000 people) than in males (463 per 100,000)
  • of all hospitalisations for minimal trauma fractures for people aged 50 and over, 36% were for people aged 85 and over
  • the most common fracture sites were the hip (30%), the forearm (15%) and lumbar spine and pelvis (12%).

Figure 2: Hospitalisations following minimal trauma by fracture site, people aged 50 and over, 2014–15

The horizontal bar chart shows that in 2014–15 the most common fracture sites for hospitalisation in people aged 50 and over were: the hip (30%25), the forearm (15%25), and lumbar spine and pelvis (12%25).

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (Data table).

Minimal trauma hip fractures

Minimal trauma hip fracture is one of the most serious and debilitating outcomes of osteoporosis [1]. Treatment of this type of fracture invariably requires hospitalisation, may require surgery and may be a source of ongoing pain and disability. These fractures are a considerable burden to the community and the Australian health system [2].

In 2014–15:

  • there were 19,567 hospitalisations for minimal trauma hip fracture among people aged 50 and over
  • the rate of hospitalisation for minimal trauma hip fracture was more than twice as high for females (347 per 100,000 people) compared to males (148 per 100,000)
  • hospitalisation rates were highest in those aged 85 and older (2,112 per 100,000 people, compared with 12 per 100,000 people aged 50-54).

Figure 3: Rate of hospitalisations for minimal trauma hip fractures, people aged 50 and over, 2014–15

The vertical bar chart shows that the hospitalisation rates for minimal trauma hip fracture among people aged 50 and over were highest in people aged 85 and older (112 per 100,000 people, compared with 12 per 100,000 people aged 50–54).

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (Data table).

Between 2005–06 and 2014–15, the number of hospitalisations for minimal trauma hip fracture among people aged 50 and over increased by 23% (from 15,947 in 2005–06 to 19,567 in 2014–15). The number increased by 29% for males, and 20% for females.

The increase in the number of hospitalisations for minimal trauma hip fractures during this period is largely due to the ageing of the population and the higher prevalence of these fractures in older age groups. After adjusting for age, the rate of minimal trauma hip fractures decreased by 8% from 251 per 100,000 population in 2005–06 to 231 per 100,000 population in 2014–15.

Figure 4: Trend in number of hospitalisation for minimal trauma hip fractures, people aged 50 and over, 2005–06 to 2014–15

The line chart shows that the number of hospitalisation for minimal trauma hip fracture among people aged 50 and over increased by 23%25 (from 15,947 in 2005–06 to 19,567 in 2014–15). The number increased by 29%25 for males, and 20%25 for females.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (Data table).

References

  1. Ip TP, Leung J & Kung AWC 2010. Management of osteoporosis in patients hospitalized for hip fractures. Osteoporosis International 21 (Suppl 4):S605–S614.
  2. Watts JJ, Abimanyi-Ochon J & Sanders KM 2013. Osteoporosis costing all Australians: A new burden of disease analysis–2012 to 2022. Sydney: Osteoporosis Australia.
  3. NCCC (National Casemix and Classification Centre) 2012. The international statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision, Australian modification (ICD-10-AM), Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI) and Australian Coding Standards (ACS), 8th edn. Wollongong: University of Wollongong.