Osteoporosis is a silent disease that causes a reduction in the density of bones leading to the chances of increased fragility fractures. The increase in the ageing population has increased the burden of the disease. One in three women and one in five men above the age of 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture worldwide. Around the world, one fracture occurs every 3 seconds. Around 80 % of people who have had an osteoporotic fracture are neither identified nor treated for osteoporosis. That’s where the importance of identification of the problem comes.
Bone density increases as we grow old and reaches a peak bone mass around the age of 20-30 and, then it declines. In ladies, there is a sharp decline in the bone density at the time of menopause.
Usually, this is asymptomatic. So it is advisable for people above 50 years to do a baseline Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scan to identify and quantify the extent of osteoporosis.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, secondary causes should be checked by your treating doctor.
Treatment includes lifestyle modification, Medical treatment using different types of drugs and fall prevention.
Give attention to lifestyle factors that promote good bone health including calcium-rich nutrition, balanced diet with bone-healthy micronutrients, adequate vitamin D through daily sun exposure, regular physical activities, avoidance of smoking and excessive alcohol intake.
The tag line of this year’s world osteoporosis day is “That’s Osteoporosis”. This is to improve the understanding of the link between osteoporosis and broken bones and, reveal the socioeconomic burden, urge healthcare authorities worldwide to implement post-fracture care for secondary fracture prevention.
So let us all strive together towards better bone health. Raise awareness of osteoporosis as an intergenerational disease that concerns the whole family. Treat your osteoporosis, prevent a fracture. Healthy bones build a healthy generation.