Osteoporosis: Disorder of Bone

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

Diagnosis: A bone mineral density scan is the only method for diagnosis of osteoporosis. The National

Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the 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, the lower the T-score, the 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 the 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.
  • A 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 of Smoking
  • Menopause/ Hysterectomy Poor nutrition
  • Long-term glucocorticoid therapy Insufficient exercise