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The article describes the adaptation of a model to estimate the burden of postmenopausal osteoporosis in women aged 50 years and over in Italy between 2010 and 2020. For this purpose, a validated postmenopausal osteoporosis disease model developed for Sweden was adapted to Italy. For each year of the study, the 'incident cohort' (women experiencing a first osteoporotic fracture) was identified and run through a Markov model using 1-year cycles until 2020. Health states were based on the number of fractures and deaths. Fracture by site (hip, clinical vertebral, non-hip non-vertebral) was tracked for each health state. Transition probabilities reflected fracture site-specific risk of death and subsequent fractures. Model inputs specific to Italy included population size and life tables from 1970 to 2020, incidence of hip fracture and BMD by age in the general population (mean and standard deviation). The model estimated that the number of postmenopausal osteoporotic women would increase from 3.3 million to 3.7 million between 2010 and 2020 (+14.3%). Assuming unchanged incidence rates by age group over time, the model predicted the overall number of osteoporotic fractures to increase from 285.0 to 335.8 thousand fractures between 2010 and 2020 (+17.8%). The estimated expected increases in hip, vertebral and non-hip non-vertebral fractures were 22.3, 17.2 and 16.3%, respectively. Due to demographic changes, the burden of fractures is expected to increase markedly by 2020.

Original publication




Journal article


Calcif tissue int

Publication Date





419 - 427


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cost of Illness, Female, Humans, Incidence, Italy, Markov Chains, Middle Aged, Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal, Osteoporotic Fractures, Prevalence