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Osteoporosis is a clear and present danger for Asians

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Bhopal | Tuesday, Jun 30 2015 IST
Osteoporosis a disease in which bone density reduces making them weak and liable to fractures will strike more Asians by 2050, according to an expert.

It cripples more women than men. India which had 2.6 crore cases in 2003 shall witness a rise by more than a crore by 2018 and 75 per cent will be women, mostly post-menopausal. Over 4.4 lakh osteoporotic fractures are reported in the country annually and the figure may cross six lakh by 2020 and ten lakh by 2050, Dr Naresh Purohit told UNI. He is Executive Member of the Indian Society for Bone and Mineral Research and lead author of recent research titled Brittle Bones Pose Huge Threat. Over the past couple of years, the physician conducted a study in private hospitals of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh on osteoporosis inpatients and found 80 per cent of them deficient in Vitamin D.

For women above 45, osteoporosis accounted for more days spent in hospital than for any other malady. More women are at risk because, following menopause, they begin losing between two to seven per cent of bone mass. Estrogen a hormone that plays a crucial role vis--vis bone health rapidly declines, making bones brittle and at risk of breakage, Dr Purohit averred.

Hip fractures are the most common symptom of osteoporosis. After a person suffers a fracture, the chances of a second one within a year are high. The illness is preventable by enhancing intake of Vitamin D and calcium and exercising for half an hour daily. While the Vitamin D level in blood should be ideally 30 nanograms per milliliter, most Indian women are extremely deficient at 4-12 ng/ml.

Though sunlight is a major Vitamin D source, the lions share of the countrys women do not benefit from abundant sunshine because they tend to stay indoors. Those on roads cover their countenances and arms. They require 30-45 minutes of sun exposure between 1000-1500 hrs on the bodys upper parts. Subcutaneous fat converts to Vitamin D in the presence of uninterrupted sunlight, the researcher explained.

While the World Health Organisation recommends a daily intake of 1,000-1,300 mg calcium for adults, Indians are far below at an average 450 mg per day. Women, especially those pursing careers, simply do not have time to consume nutritious meals. Even vegetarians do not drink milk in the adequate quantities. Unfortunately, most food items contain calcium that cannot be absorbed.

How can a woman know that she faces an osteoporosis risk? A fracture is the first indication barring severe Vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia wherein bone and muscle aches are commonplace. Those in peril should undergo bone densitometry tests. In India, awareness sets in after the break has occurred. The Government must promote food fortified with Vitamin D. Bone densitometry tests should be made more affordable, Dr Purohit felt.Ideally, women should consume two to three glasses of milk daily or supplements of low-fat milk products such as cottage cheese and curd along with performing exercises and spending time under the sun.UNI AC SW SB NS1932

-- (UNI) -- C-1-DL0044-205394.Xml

 
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