What is  Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs due to gradual loss of bone mineral density, leading to bones become pores, fragile and increased susceptibility to fractures. Osteoporosis is often called as “silent disease” is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue.


Bone mineral density scan is the only method for diagnosis of osteoporosis. The National

Osteoporosis Foundation recommends following individuals for BMD scan:

  • All women above 65 regardless of risk factors
  • All younger postmenopausal women with one or more risk factors
  • Post-menopausal women who present with fractures


The T-score is the number of standard deviations by which a person’s BMD differs from that of healthy young adults. In general, lower the T-score, more fragile the person’s bones. The T-score is therefore a rough indication of the need for treatment in adults.

The World Health Organization has defined the following categories:

  • Normal Bone: T-score better than -1
  • Osteopenia: T-score between -1 & -2.5
  • Osteoporosis: T-score less than -2.5

Osteoporosis: A Global Health Burden

  • According to World Health Organization (WHO), Osteoporosis is second only to cardiovascular disease as a global healthcare problem.
  • Affects over 200 million people worldwide.
  • Over 50% of women & 30-45% of men over age 50 have osteopenia/osteoporosis.

10% loss of bone mass in the vertebrae can double the risk of vertebral fractures, and similarly, a 10% loss of bone mass in the hip can result in a 2.5 times greater risk of hip fracture.

1 out of 8 males and 1 out of 3 females in India suffers from osteoporosis, making India one of the largest affected countries in the world.

In most Western countries, while the peak incidence of Osteoporosis occurs at about 70-80 years of age, in India it may afflict younger, at age 50-60.

Osteoporosis Signs & Symptoms

In its early stages, there are no symptoms associated with osteoporosis but as it progresses it can cause

  • Fractures of the vertebrae, wrist or hips
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Loss of height over time
  • Stooped posture

Osteoporosis Risk Factors

  • Non-Modifiable Risk factors Modifiable Risk factors
  • Age Alcohol
  • Family history Smoking
  • Menopause/ Hysterectomy Poor nutrition
  • Long term glucocorticoid therapy Insufficient exercise
  • Limitation of treatment options available for Osteoporosis:
  • Treatment Options Limitation
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