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8.4 million women potential patients of osteoporosis: expert

8.4 million women potential patients of osteoporosis: expert

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: The female population in the country is approximately 70 million, of which almost 12 per cent or about 8.4 million are above 50 years of age and potential osteoporosis patients.

This was stated by the president of Osteoporosis Society of Pakistan, Dr Akhtar Ahmed, in a press statement here on Thursday.

As many as 200 million women worldwide suffer from osteoporosis, with an estimated one-third aged between 60 to 70, and two-thirds aged 80 or older afflicted by the disease which according to the World Health Organization is second only to cardiovascular disease and is a leading health care problem, he stated.

“The number of hip fractures worldwide due to osteoporosis is expected to rise from 1.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million by 2050 and 50 per cent of all these fractures are expected in Asia alone.”

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become porous, weaker, brittle and prone to fracture, he said adding “Of all the complications experienced by females after their menopause, none is more devastating than this disease.” He maintained that according to an estimate about one third of all females between 60 to 70 years, and two third of all women aged 50 years or older, were afflicted by this disorder.

Owing to the global nature of this problem, the WHO has declared 20th October as World Osteoporosis Day to ensure that osteoporosis gets the attention it deserves so that females may live a healthy and active life, well into old age without the crippling and serious consequences of Osteoporosis. Unfortunately, awareness about Osteoporosis is so low that Osteoporosis Day goes unnoticed.

Dr Akhtar said risk factors for osteoporosis included menopause low bone mass, thin build, long-term steroid usage, hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus). “Other risk factors, which also play an important role especially in Pakistan, include early age of pregnancy and multiple pregnancies within a short time. Females bearing any of these risk factors should consult their doctors for evaluation and seek appropriate treatment.”

He said the parents should ensure their children receive a calcium rich diet (Milk and dairy products) along with exercise, as this helps in building strong bones from the start in females.

“It will help them from being afflicted by osteoporosis in their later years.”

Similarly, he said, disease awareness programmes should be conducted in schools, so that awareness about osteoporosis and similar diseases was high especially amongst the younger population, as prevention was better than cure.



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