Higher risk of osteoporosis in Indian women: Expert

Dr Sushanth Mummigatti | MAY 27, 2024, 01:02 AM IST

Some studies suggest that there is an overall increased prevalence of osteoporosis and its associated complications in Indian women compared to those in the Western population. This can be attributed to several factors including genetic makeup, level of physical activities, diet, socio-economic status, awareness of the condition and need for supplements, accessibility to health care facilities, etc.

Nutritional deficiency in childhood can cause reduced peak bone density that can be achieved in adulthood, which increases the overall incidence of osteoporosis. The awareness of nutritional requirements and accessibility to health care facilities for supplements and medications including calcium, vitamin D, and Hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women can also be considered as one of the reasons.

The activity level in elderly women in India is relatively lower compared to that in Western populations. An active lifestyle helps maintain bone quality. Although the incidence of osteoporosis is higher in American and European populations compared to that of the African population, this can be attributed to the low levels of sunlight that they receive and the relatively larger population in higher age groups.

India has a relatively young population at present and with increasing life expectancy and an aging population in the coming years, the burden of osteoporosis is expected to increase significantly. Proper education and awareness and nutritional supplementation in childhood and vulnerable age groups with an emphasis on leading a healthy lifestyle will be of paramount importance in the fight against osteoporosis.

(The writer is a consultant, Orthopaedics, Manipal Hospital Goa.)

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