An estimated 4.7 million Australians over the age of 50 currently have osteoporosis or osteopenia, with over 144,000 associated fractures (2013). Without major improvements in diagnosis and management, the rate of osteoporotic fracture will be around 30% higher by 2022, costing an estimated $33.6 billion over the next decade. In general practice, early detection can prevent a first fracture. For patients who have already fractured, investigation and initiation of osteoporosis medication is crucial to reduce the very high risk of subsequent fractures.
The criteria for Medicare eligibility has recently changed.