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Hyderabad: India ranks number one in the total number of osteoporosis cases, said doctors on the eve of World Osteoporosis Day.

There are 1.5 million osteoporosis cases identified in men due to lack of calcium, genetics and other factors.

Every year, October 20 is observed as World Osteoporosis Day which emphasises on increasing awareness about having strong bones, treatments, tips to maintain healthy bones, etc.

Having good bone health is essential for healthy functionality in life. Bones play an integral role in shaping our strength, mobility activities and lifestyle in general.

Osteoporosis is a disease, where complex and complicated molecular pathways interact to reduce the bone and mineral density.

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Considering the importance of having bone strength and the risks of getting osteoporosis, this year’s theme is designed as "Build better bones", intending the significance of bone strength as a foundation to leading a healthy lifestyle.

According to Dr Sai Laxman Anne, Chief Consultant Orthopaedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon, KIMS Hospitals, Kondapur, Osteoporosis is a medical condition where bones become brittle and weak.

"Usually, bones do not show signs of fracture until there is a hard fall or accident of any sort. But with osteoporosis, people experience fractures with minor falls, sudden movements or bumps. Osteoporosis prevails with aging, causing fractures in most of the elder people," he said.

In India, around 61 million elders have osteoporosis among which 80 per cent are women.

"There are several factors associated with osteoporosis. Some of them are female gender, advancing of age, menopause, low body mass index, family history, poor diet, smoking, alcohol consumptions, etc. Research shows that in India, osteoporosis occurs 10-20 years earlier when compared to western countries. It is important to investigate the risk factors of osteoporosis which is an important strategy useful in forming an effective approach for managing the disease.”

According to Dr P. S Jaya Prasad, Consultant Orthopaedics, Kamineni Hospitals, it is estimated that globally, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men aged 50 years suffer from an osteoporotic fracture which makes it one of the leading causes of long-term pain and disability in elderly people. Because of poor infrastructures, facility, lack of awareness, only 20 per cent with osteoporosis are getting diagnosed. Any person who gets osteoporosis tends to lose bone density by 20 per cent.

"To avoid such risks and increasing factors of this disease, organisations around the world come together with people to create awareness, take tests for early diagnosis and check for bone density. These lifestyle practices can help ensure healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis long term," he said.

Dr SVL Narasimha Reddy, Orthopaedic Surgeon, SLG Hospitals, believes that lifestyle modifications can help prevent the increase of osteoporosis along with intake of vitamins, use of pharmacologic agents.

"Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, treatment can stop the loss of bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. But, diagnosis has to be started at early stages because once a person’s bone density is declined, it cannot be fully reversed. It is also important to prevent fractures as they may not fully heal in people with this disease. This condition starts developing when a person starts to lose bone density faster resulting in a weak bone. Once this starts, it may not be possible to regrow the lost bone. Usually, people lose bone density over time and the bone reaches its peak at 25-30 years. Due to this reason, regaining bone density at older age becomes challenging.Whereas, when a young person has osteoporosis the bone can recover and allows the person to regain bone density," said Reddy

According toDr V. S Abhilash Kumar, Consultant Arthroplasty and Arthroscopy Surgeon, Amor Hospital, India ranks number 1 in the total number of osteoporosis cases. There are 1.5 million osteoporosis cases identified in men due to lack of calcium, genetics and other factors. People are slowly falling prey for this disease. In addition, there are few myths surrounding this disease. One such myth is that it is caused due to aging.

"Osteoporosis can also effect a young person. Research shows osteoporosis is linked to other health conditions, when a person is healthy with improved metabolic fitness, they will have stronger bones. Another myth is that bone density test is painful. It’s wrong, bone density test is not painful, it is a simple test that uses small amount of radiation or ultrasound when a person lies on their back and it approximately takes 10 minutes. Getting adequate sunshine, calcium and having simple 30-minute workouts everyday will help strengthen muscles.”