Osteotest® is a new diagnostic genetic test for the early detection of Osteoporosis. This test has been validated in three populations of women in Europe and will also be available in Spain as of the second quarter of 2019.

The word osteoporosis comes from Latin osteos that means bone and poros that means porous, that is porous bone. It is characterized by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility. The bones become so porous and weak that they are likely to break from a minor injury.

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects many millions of people worldwide. The lifetime risk for a woman to have an osteoporotic fracture is 30-40%, with the percentage rising to 52% in women more than 70 years old. Studies have shown the prevalence of osteoporosis in men is higher than previously thought – with approximately one in five men affected (Melton LJ, 3rd, Atkinson EJ, O’Connor MK, et al. (1998) Bone density and fracture risk in men. J Bone Miner Res 13:1915.3. Melton LJ, 3rd, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C, et al. (1992) Perspective. How many women have osteoporosis? J Bone Miner Res 7:1005.4. Kanis JA, Johnell O, Oden A, et al. (2000) Long-term risk of osteoporotic fracture in Malmo. Osteoporos Int 11:669).

In Europe, USA and Japan it affects around 75 million people (EFFO and NOF (1997) Who are candidates for prevention and treatment for osteoporosis? Osteoporos Int 7:1.).

Until few years ago, it was considerate as a normal aging process. However, even thus advancing age increases exponentially the incidence of vertebral and hip fractures, osteoporosis is not a natural aging process. 1/3 women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1/5 men. These fractures are a major cause of morbidity and disability in older people and, in the case of hip fractures, can lead to premature death. Such fractures impose a considerable economic burden on health services worldwide.

Available data on the economic burden of osteoporosis shows that currently, the cost of osteoporosis is 37 billion EUR per year in the EU, and 19 billion USD per year in the USA. Costs are projected to rise dramatically alongside osteoporosis prevalence in coming years. Worldwide, 40% of osteoporotic fractures occur in people of working age. The direct annual cost of treating osteoporotic fractures of people in the workplace is 48 billion USD in Canada, Europe and the USA alone, not taking into account indirect costs such as disability and loss of productivity (The Global Burden of Osteoporosis: A Factsheet, International Osteoporosis Foundation).

The decrease of bone tissue associated to osteoporosis it is most of time silent and can be asymptomatic for a long time until the fracture occurs. For this reason, osteoporosis is also known as the silent disease. By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase by 310% and 240% in women (Gullberg B, Johnell O and Kanis JA (1997) World-wide projections for hip fracture. Osteoporos Int 7:407. ). Accurate and early diagnosis is fundamental in the fight against this disease.

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