Each year, thousands of Canadians suffer debilitating broken bones that could have been avoided if only the underlying cause, osteoporosis, had been detected and treated.

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Broken bones (fractures) place a tremendous burden on Canadians. In aging Canadians in particular, fractures often lead to hospitalization, depression, loss of mobility and independence and in some cases even death. In addition to the personal toll, the financial burden of fractures is staggering.

Osteoporosis Canada, in time for November Osteoporosis month, has released an expert report that examines the personal and financial burden of fractures and recommends a cost-effective model of care that has been proven to reduce the impact of osteoporosis and repeat fractures.

The report identifies the huge costs resulting from the 30,000 Canadians who fracture a hip each year.  The average hip fracture patient spends an average of 23 days in hospital and rehabilitation centres at an average acute care cost of $20,000 per patient. Nearly a quarter of these individuals end up in long-term care facilities accounting for $600 million annually. Add to this the cost of the 170,000 Canadians who suffer a fracture of the spine, wrist, shoulder, pelvis and other bones and it is no surprise that the total cost of osteoporosis in Canada in 2010 was $2.3 billion.

These costs will continue to climb as Canadian baby boomers age and the impact of this very common bone disease continues to increase.

There is an effective and simple solution to close the post-fracture osteoporosis care gap. It involves a systemic approach that ensures that all patients who present with a "signal" fracture receive the osteoporosis care they need to prevent future fragility fractures. This is called a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) and is being implemented by a number of innovative Canadian and international health care providers. The results of FLS are undeniable - a reduction of the incidence and disability related to recurring fractures as well as reduction in health and social costs.

Unfortunately, Canada is still lacking a systematic approach to reduce

the incidence, burden and cost of osteoporotic fragility fractures.  Very few jurisdictions in this country have access to an FLS.  Canadians should be entitled to a health care system that is able to recognize the signs and take the necessary steps to break the cycle of repeat fractures. Osteoporosis Canada urges healthcare systems across the country to implement FLS by 2015.

About Osteoporosis Canada

Osteoporosis Canada (OC) is the only national charitable organization dedicated to serving Canadians who have, or are at risk of, osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. In keeping with its vision of a Canada without osteoporotic fractures, OC works to educate, empower and support individuals and communities in the risk reduction and treatment of osteoporosis. For more information on Osteoporosis Canada visit www.osteoporosis.ca or call 1-800-463-6842.

SOURCE: Osteoporosis Canada

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Matthew Rocheford
Osteoporosis Canada Communications Coordinator
Tel: 416 696-2663; E-Mail: mrocheford@osteoporosis.ca

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