Sunday, July 14, 2024

World Osteoporosis Day – 20th October 2023

  • Osteoporosis “a silent thief of your bone”

Osteoporosis frequently called as “silent disease or silent killer or silent thief” because the bone mass is lost gradually over a period of time with no signs or symptoms. It is a disease that is characterised by decreased bone mass and strength that makes bone fragile so there is increased risk of fractures. Susceptibility to fracture mainly seen in bones of Hip, spine and wrist. As a result Patients suffer from illness, pain, functional limitations, reduced quality of life, loss of independence, inability to do personal works. Sometimes these fractures were undetected causing significantly rise in mortality risk.

Why it is a major health problem?

Osteoporosis considered as a modern epidemic. Worldwide, over age of 50, 1 in 3 women / 1 in 5 men have osteoporosis. 80 % of those suffering from osteoporosis are women. Affects 75 million persons in the US, Europe and Japan. Osteoporosis is responsible for 1.3 millions fractures each year. Approximately 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their remaining lifetime. Peak incidence, western – 60-70 years, India – 50 – 60 years. In India the estimation is that more than 61 million Indians have osteoporosis with 61% of them were women.

Who Gets Osteoporosis?

Older age, Family history of osteoporosis, Low body weight (< 58 kg.), Estrogen deficiency, early menopause
(<45 years), Alcoholism, smoking, Poor Health, Low calcium intake, Low vitamin D intake, Excessive intake of protein, salt and caffeine, Inactive lifestyle, inadequate physical activity Certain medications, such as some cancer medications, steroids and kidney, liver diseases increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.

In females

With the onset of menopause (mid-forties or fifties), diminishing estrogen levels lead to excessive bone loss that is not fully compensated by an increase in bone formation. Bones affected by osteoporosis become so fragile that fractures occur spontaneously or as the result of: Minor falls, such as a fall from standing height that would not normally cause a break in a healthy bone. Normal stresses such as bending, lifting, or even coughing. symptoms of hip fracture include severe hip pain, inability to walk or stand without support. Symptoms of spine fracture include severe back pain, loss of height, or spine malformations such as a stooped or hunched posture (kyphosis).


Diet changes: For all individuals, a well-balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. In all individuals older than 60 years, recommended vitamin D intake of at least 600 IU per day (up to 1000 IU/day) in addition to the calcium requirement of 1200 mg per day. Calcium contributors – Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, and fortified orange juice or soy products.

Most vitamin D comes from sun-induced skin conversion. Vitamin D contributors – fatty fish, fish liver oil, mushrooms, fortified juices, eggs, Physical activity-weight bearing and muscle. strengthening exercises. Exercise improves bone strength by 30%to 50%. Exercise should be lifelong. Cessation of smoking, alcohol, high caffeine intake. Adequate sun exposure.


Avoid sedating medications. Remove household hazards to reduce the risk of fractures. Make sure your vision is good. Avoiding walking alone on watery floors Wearing well-fitting shoes.

Dr Balavardhan Reddy 

Orthopaedic Specialist 

Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.


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