Narrator: This is Science Today. Women who suffer fractures from osteoporosis are 75 percent more likely to be hospitalized for reasons unrelated to these fractures. University of California, San Francisco researcher, Dennis Black, says many of these women are older and are hospitalized for other ailments such as pneumonia, heart disease or cancer.
Black: In these women there's already a low ability to recover. They have a fracture that could lead to inactivity, which in turn can begin a downward spiral and lead to some other diseases that result in hospitalization.
Narrator: In the United States alone, Black says hip fractures due to osteoporosis result in about 10 billion dollars worth of hospital costs.
Black: The total cost for all osteoporotic fractures is about 12 to 14 billion dollars. The important message here is that treatments such as estrogen, such as alendronate, which can prevent important fractures, may also have additional benefits down the road in preventing hospitalizations from other diseases.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin