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Yesterday marked the opportunity of the World Osteoporosis Day. Although there is some awareness about this disease, the majority of…

Yesterday marked the opportunity of the World Osteoporosis Day. Although there is some awareness about this disease, the majority of the population seems unaware of it although it is extremely common among women and the elderly. We asked experts who make osteoporosis so furious and how to protect themselves from it …

Not uncommon in men

Osteoporosis and its related fractures are common in India. Although it is more pronounced in women, especially after menopause, it is not uncommon in men. Dr Dipti Patel, rheumatologist, Wockhardt Hospital, looks at at least 10 cases a week and six to seven cases a week after postmenopausal osteoporosis. She says, “The precise prevalence of India is not known, but considering our population, it is estimated that about 46 million are women with osteoporosis. Over the world it is estimated that one in three women over 50 years will experience osteoporotic fractures and one in five men. “This disease probably also runs in families because there are hereditary factors that affect bone development.

Senile osteoporosis

This disease is of two kinds, senile and postmenopausal. Senile osteoporosis usually occurs in both sexes among seniors in 60+ age groups. “Senile osteoporosis is due to lack of mobility, which reduces bone density due to aging and vitamin D3 deficiency. Calcium is a major adjuvant for therapy, not primary treatment,” said Dr. Rakesh Nair, knee replacement surgeon at Zen Multispeciality Hospital.

Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Women tend to suffer more often and severely than men. This is due to hormonal factors, multiple pregnancies, prolonged breastfeeding and inadequate nutrition. One in two postmenopausal women has the lifetime risk of maintaining osteoporotic fracture, says Dr. Manan Gujarathi, orthopedic surgeon, SRV Mamata Hospital, adds it to diabetes and hypertension, osteoporosis has become so frequent, it’s practically an epidemic. [1

9659002] Osteopenia

Ninety percent of Dr Nair’s osteoporosis patients are women after menopause. It occurs after the 40’s, but he also comes across patients in the 30’s. “The majority of them will have some parts of osteopenia – a condition where the legs are weaker than usual but not as far away as they break easily, which is the hallmark of osteoporosis,” he says, adding that, regardless of her previous activity, levels are prevalent Menopause is prone to osteoporosis depending on how violent menopause is.

Factors to blame

Orthopedic surgeons are increasingly confronted with fractures in people in the 30’s and 40’s who had some tumblers, says Dr. Gujarathi. Lack of exercise, vitamin deficiency, excessive caffeine, alcohol intake, smoking, diabetes, immune deficiency syndrome, unhealthy diet are additional risk factors that are most common.


Usually, the diagnosis of osteoporosis is a combination of history, clinical checkup and test. Dr. Gujarathi says that simple screening tests include estimation of ultrasonic bone mineral density (BMD), often done in awareness camps. Additional control may include blood tests to exclude hypovitaminosis (disease caused by vitamin deficiency), endocrine disorders and diabetes, X-ray and DEXA (double-X-ray absorption). Scan to quantify the disease, assess risk and formulate a treatment strategy.

Dr Nair says that ideally, the DEXA test should be performed by every woman in the 40’s and for men, around the 60’s. Young people in the 30’s who have a thyroid gland or any hormone problems should undergo this test.

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