Due to the demographic transition with a growing number of old and oldest-old persons the absolute number of fragility fractures is expected to increase in industrialized countries unless effective preventive efforts are intensified. The main causes leading to fractures are osteoporosis and falls. The aim of this study is to develop population based models of the potential impact of fall-prevention exercise and oral bisphosphonates over the coming decade.
The German federal state of Bavaria served as the model population.
Model interventions were limited to community-dwelling persons aged 65 years and older. Models are based on fall-prevention exercise being offered to all persons aged 70 to 89 years and oral bisphosphonate treatment offered to all persons with osteoporosis as defined by a T-score of ≤ − 2.5. Treatment effect sizes are estimated from meta-analyses. Reduction in all femoral fractures in the population of community-dwelling persons aged 65 years and older is the outcome of interest. A spreadsheet-based modelling approach was used for prediction.
In 2014, reduction of femoral fractures by 10 % required 21 % of all community-dwelling persons aged 70–89 to participate in fall-prevention exercise, or 37 % of those with osteoporosis to receive oral bisphosphonates. Without intervention, demographic changes will result in a 24 % increase in femoral fractures by 2025. To lower the increase of fractures between 2014 and 2025 to 10 %, fall-prevention-exercise participation rate needs to be 25 % and bisphosphonate treatment rates 41 %, whereas to hold the 2025 rates flat at 2014 rates require 43 % fall-prevention-exercises participation, and is not achievable using oral bisphosphonates.