Posted on Dec 11, 2012, 6 a.m.
Increasing consumption of dairy foods helps to prevent hip fractures and reduce healthcare costs.
Low dietary intake of calcium has been associated with decreased bone density and increased risk of osteoporosis, a disease where bone becomes less dense and prone to fracture. Fractures are a costly public health burden, resulting in increased mortality, disability, pain and loss of health-related quality of life. In terms of health-economic burden, hip fractures in particular result in huge expenditures for hospitalization, rehabilitation, and long-term nursing care. Analyses of the health economics of increasing the consumption of dairy foods suggests a pronounced related reduction in risk of osteoporotic fractures in the population ages 50-plus. Rene Rizzoli, from the University Hospitals of Geneva (Switzerland), and colleagues utilized a new analytical model applied to data on dairy product intake in residents of the Netherlands, France and Sweden. The researchers calculated the number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYS) lost due to hip fractures associated with low nutritional calcium intake and the number of hip fractures that could potentially be prevented each year with intake of additional dairy products. The benefits were highest in France with 2,023 prevented hip fractures, followed by Sweden (455) and the Netherlands (132). This represents a substantial health cost savings of approximately 129 million, 34 million and 6 million Euros in these countries, respectively.
Lotters FJB, Lenoir-Wijnkoop I, Fardellone P, Rizzoli R, Rocher E, Poley M.J. “Dairy foods and Osteoporosis: An example of Assessing the Health–Economic Impact of Food Products. “ Osteoporosis Int ., June 2012.