Diagnosis Coded Osteoporosis


Lead Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD
Edward H. Yelin, PhD

International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes are often used in studies to define conditions in records of national health databases. However, health care providers may include codes that are not primary to the condition being treated, or may make errors in the coding process. Nevertheless, analysis of medical conditions based on ICD diagnosis or treatment codes is the most frequently used basis for health conditions research. Osteoporosis is identified with the ICD code of 733.

Data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) is used to estimate the economic burden (cost) of musculoskeletal diseases throughout this site. The MEPS is the only US database to include actual cost paid by insurance companies and patients for the health care they receive.

Using the MEPS data, the prevalence of people with diagnosed osteoporosis has risen as the population ages. The number of persons in the population with an osteoporosis condition rose from 3.2 million to 6.5 million between 1996 and 1998 and 2009 and 2011, nearly doubling the number of people with osteoporosis. This number is lower than the 10 million estimated prevalence for people age 50 years and older reported based on BMD.

People between the ages of 45 years and 64 years experienced the steepest rise in osteoporosis diagnosis, increasing from 32% to 35% of all people with osteoporosis in the late 1990s to more than 40% in recent years. (Reference Table 10.1 PDF CSV)

Distribution of Population with Self-Reported Osteoporosis Condition

A recent report using Medicare data showed an overall increase of 18 percentage points in the number of Medicare beneficiaries with diagnosed osteoporosis, based on ICD-9-CM codes, between 2008 and 2010.1

  • 1. Erdem E: Prevalence of chronic conditions among Medicare Part A beneficiaries in 2008 and 2010: Are Medicare beneficiaries getting sicker? Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130118. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130118.


  • 2014

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