Facts & Statistics Copy

Quick facts of Osteoporosis:

  • Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to increased risk of breaking a bone
  • No single cause for osteoporosis has been identified
  • Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent thief’ because bone loss occurs without symptoms
  • Osteoporosis can result in disfigurement, lowered self-esteem, reduction or loss of mobility, and decreased independence
  • Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis later.
  • Peak bone mass is achieved at an early age, age 16 in girls and age 20 in young men.

– Women and men alike begin to lose bone in their mid-30s; as they approach menopause, women lose bone at a   greater rate, from 2-5% per year.


Approximately 2 million Canadians have been diagnosed with osteoporosis

  • 1 in 4 women over the age of 50
  • at least 1 in 8 men over 50
  • however, the disease can strike at any age!



  • The cost of treating osteoporosis and the fractures it causes is estimated to be $1.9 billion each year in Canada alone. Long term, hospital and chronic care account for the majority of these costs.
  • Given the increasing proportion of older people in the population, these costs will likely rise.
  • A study recently reported that only 44% of people discharged from hospital for a hip fracture return home; of the rest, 10% go to another hospital, 27% go to rehabilitation care, and 17% go to long-term care facilities.


The reduced quality of life for those with osteoporosis is enormous. Osteoporosis can result in disfigurement, lowered self-esteem, reduction or loss of mobility, and decreased independence.

Some basic human impact statistics about osteoporosis and fractures:

  • at least 80% of fractures in people 60+ are related to osteoporosis
  • a 50-year-old woman has a 40% chance of developing hip, vertebral or wrist fractures during her lifetime. 5
  • patients are at highest risk for subsequent fracture in the first few months following a vertebral fracture. 3
  • 1 in 5 women who have a new vertebral fracture will fracture again within one year.4

The statistics related to hip fractures are particularly disturbing:

  • approx 25,000 hip fractures in Canada in 1993
  • 80% of hip fractures are osteoporosis-related
  • osteoporosis causes 70-90% of 30,000 hip fractures annually
  • each hip fracture costs the system $21,285 in the 1st year after hospitalization, and $44,156 if the patient is institutionalized
  • 23% of patients who fracture a hip die in less than a year
  • hip fractures result in death in up to 20% of patients
  • hip fractures result in disability in 50% of those who survive
  • the lifetime risk of hip fracture is greater (1 in 6) than the 1 in 9 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. 2