Osteoporosis has become a highly prevalent disease in the world today as the average lifespan has improved. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors have also grown, contributing to the increasing rates of osteoporosis seen globally.
Despite increased awareness of the disease, it is still one that remains mostly undiagnosed. Figure 1 presents the diagnosed and undiagnosed prevalent cases of osteoporosis in men and women, ages ≥30 years, in the seven major markets (7MM: US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and Japan) in 2017. In 2017, GlobalData epidemiologists forecast that there were more than 45,000,000 total prevalent cases of osteoporosis in the 7MM; more than 50% of these cases went undiagnosed.
Figure 1: 7MM, diagnosed, undiagnosed, and total prevalent cases of osteoporosis, men and women, ages ≥30 years, 2017.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced over time. Consequently, bones become more porous and fragile, leading to weakness of the skeleton and an increased risk of skeletal fractures. In the elderly, these injuries can lead to severe morbidity as treatment and recovery can be highly invasive and extensive.
It is not surprising that osteoporosis is so frequently undiagnosed. Osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent” disease because the loss of bone occurs progressively and often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs. Identifying and diagnosing the disease at an early stage can allow for appropriate treatment and aid in preventing the severe outcomes of this disease.
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