Osteoporosis is considered as a major growing global health care problem, especially with increasing life survival the aging society is at risk. In US, Osteoporosis is a major health problem affecting more than 10 million adults, estimating to more than 50% cost involved in annual fractures by 2025. It is known that Osteoporosis related mortality and morbidity is huge, amounting to almost 17 billion USD in 2005 itself. Similar observations were made in Australian Population with life time risk of osteoporotic fractures for women and men more than 60 years of age being 60% & 30% respectively. Till recently, osteoporosis was considered a disease mainly of the developed countries. But now it is becoming a major problem even in the developing countries. It is predicted that the Asian countries alone would contribute to majority of the hip fractures when compared to rest of the world. More than 4.5 million women above the age of 60 years suffered fracture spine and more than 250,000 people had suffered from hip fracture per year due to osteoporosis. This causes severe compromise on quality of life. The life time risk of any osteoporosis fracture is 40% - 50% for women and 13% to 22% men. Hence it is a common disease affecting both older women and significant number of older men. In India, the magnitude of the problem is huge, affecting a large population, to the tune of about 50 million individuals. Today, in India the impact of this disease is comparable to if not more than cardiovascular disease or malignancy and thus needs to be addressed to urgently. Osteoporosis is a hidden public health concern requiring the attention of treating physicians, the health care system and the government for having a policy for early identification and management. Osteoporosis is a disease of loss of bone mass. Early detection is important. But sadly, it is diagnosed only when fractures occur, similar to diagnosing hypertension after a myocardial infection or stroke. There is a need to have good screening techniques such as use of Bone Marrow Density or Dual Energy X- ray absorptiometry (DXA) etc. There is a need also to understand associated risk factors and to look at preventive measures such as early calcium supplementation, diet etc., to develop a health care policy to address this problem.
About the Author/Editor
Dr. Dondeti Uday Kumar & Dr. R. B. Uppin
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