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Osteoporosis is condition in which bone strength is reduced significantly and bone become fragile causing increase risk of fracture. Other wards Osteoporosis literally means “porous bones”. It is one of the common reason for the fracture of bone in elderly postmenopausal women and elderly men.

Osteoporosis is very common metabolic bone disease.Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds.Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men aged over 501. In 2013, it was estimated that 50 million people are having osteoporosis or low bone mass2

The important risk factor for osteoporosis are

  • Advance Age
  • Gender: elderly female are at more risk than elderly women due to menopause
  • Ethnicity: Research has shown that Caucasian and Asian women are more likely to develop osteoporosis
  • Prior history of fracture
  • Parental history of fracture.
  • Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • High intake of alcohol
  • Prolong use of steroid
  • Low body weight
  • The osteoporosis is silent disease. There may be no symptoms of osteoporosis. While other people may have complaint of back pain with shooting pain radiating to legs, bone pain and loss of height. The common fracture due to osteoporosis are hip bone fracture, spine (vertebra) fracture, wrist fracture.

    Osteoporosis is diagnosed by a special test call “dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)”. It is very simple, painless test just like taking x- ray film. It measure density of bone at hip, spine and wrist.

    Yes, fracture due to osteoporosis can be prevented. Prevention involve living healthy life. Few important steps to prevent fracture are:

    Nutrition: Take balance diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D. According to National institute of Health, male adults ages 19 to 70 and female adults ages 19 to 51 should consume at least 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day and 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day while women over 51 and men over 70 years should take 1200 mg of calcium per day and 800 IU of vitamin D.

    Exercise: weight bearing exercise (like walking, jogging, running, dancing, lifting weight) stimulate bone to grow. Some light exercise like yoga and tai chi also helps. Weight bearing exercise increases the muscle power and improve bone strength. Regular weight bearing exercise should be part of daily routine to prevent osteoporosis.

    Stop smoking and moderation of alcohol

    Fall prevention: Some Indoor environment modification helps to prevent fall. This includes:

  • Keep adequate light in your path from the bedroom to the bathroom, and use night lights throughout your house
  • Install grab bars near to toilets, tubs, and showers
  • Keep floor surfaces smooth but not slippery
  • Use a rubber bathmat or slip-proof seat in the shower or tub
  • stairways in your home are well-lit with handrails on both sides
  • Keep rugs from sliding. Use non-skid once.
  • Bone mass cannot be restore completely. But there are certain medication available and approved for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. This medication usually maintain bone mass and prevent from further deterioration of bone strength. These are

  • Bisphosphonate
  • Teriparatide
  • Estrogen agonist/ antagonist
  • Rank ligand inhibitor (Denosumab)
  • CathepsinK Inhibitor (Odanacatib)
  • Mithal A, Dhingra V, Lau E. The Asian Audit: Epidemiology, costs and burden of osteoporosis in Asia. IntOsteoporos Foundation 2009;24-9