Millions worldwide suffer from osteoporosis

August 5th, 2008 - 12:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 5 (IANS) Osteoporosis, that causes bones to become fragile, weak and increasingly fracture-prone, affects millions worldwide, says a new report. A ’silent’ disease, it usually shows no signs or symptoms, and so often goes undiagnosed until a fracture occurs. Osteoporosis mainly affects middle-aged and older women and men.

A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) said it affects 600,000 in Australia alone. Fifty percent of women and 25 percent of men above 60 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime.

“These fractures may lead to chronic pain, activity restrictions, loss of independence and, sometimes, death,” said Kuldeep Bhatia, who heads the AIHW National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions.

Management of osteoporosis includes medication, exercise, physical therapy and healthy eating. About 43 percent of Australians with osteoporosis take pharmaceuticals and 40 percent use vitamin/mineral supplements (such as calcium and Vitamin D).

According to Emma Duncan, staff specialist in endocrinology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, osteoporotic fractures occur most commonly in the hip, spine and wrist.

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