Knowledge on prevalence of osteoporosis stratifying for socioeconomic background is insufficient in Germany. Little is known in Europe about other diseases that go along with it although these aspects are important for implementing effective public health strategies.
This cross-sectional analysis was based on the national telephone survey “German Health Update” (GEDA 2012) performed in 2012/2013. GEDA 2012 provides information on self-reported diseases and sociodemographic characteristics for nearly 20,000 adults. Descriptive statistical analysis and multiple logistic regression were used to examine the association between osteoporosis and age, sex, other diseases and education defined by ISCED. Analyses were limited to participants aged 50 years and older.
Overall, 8.7% of the 10,660 participants aged 50+ years had osteoporosis (men 4.7%, women 12.2%). More than 95% of the adults with osteoporosis had at least one coexisting disease. The odds for arthrosis (OR 3.3, 95% CI 2.6-4.1), arthritis (OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.2-4.2), chronic low back pain (OR 2.8, 95% CI 2.3-3.5), depression (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.7-3.1) and chronic heart failure (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.6-3.1), respectively, were greater for adults with osteoporosis. Education showed no significant association with osteoporosis.
There was no clear evidence of socioeconomic differences regarding osteoporosis for adults in Germany. However, clinicians need to be aware that multimorbidity is very common in adults with osteoporosis. Health care interventions for osteoporosis could be improved by offering preventive care for other diseases that go along with it. Over- or under-diagnosis in different socioeconomic levels has to be further explored.