Urban men and women at a high of acquiring brittle bones

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Vitamin D supplementation, healthy diet, and adequate physical activity can prevent osteoporosis

New Delhi, 08th April 2018: A recent study has indicated that urban Indians stand the risk of suffering from brittle bones which can cause fractures even with simple acts like bending over or coughing. A majority of the people in Delhi, both men and women, were found suffering from osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Osteopenia is a condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is considered by many doctors to be a precursor to osteoporosis that causes bones to become weak and brittle. A low-level of bone density could lead to a serious socio-economic burden in the future as the population of the elderly is bound to increase.

Speaking about this, *Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI and Immediate Past National President, IMA,* said, “In India, osteoporosis  is the second commonest diseases both in men and women after coronary artery disease. A low BMI is a risk factor for osteoporosis and high BMI is a risk factor for osteoarthritis. Therefore, a balance has to be maintained. It is possible to prevent long-term morbidity due to fractures in those individuals in whom the risk of developing osteoporosis is identified. A majority of people are unaware of the serious complications associated with osteoporosis. Even in the absence of a large scale cross-sectional study, hip fractures (HFs) are considered common and the peak incidence of osteoporotic HF is in younger age, around 50-60 years.”

The risk factors for osteoporosis include advancing age, past history of fractures, history of steroids intake, weight less than 40 kg, family history of hip fracture, intake of alcohol, smoking, 1.5” loss in the height in the past and height less than 145 cm.

Adding further, *Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Chief Editor of IJCP*, said, “In India, about 80% people have vitamin D deficiency.Vitamin D deficiency is much more important than calcium supplementation. If Vitamin D cannot be acquired from sunlight, vitamin D supplementation is needed.To overcome osteoporosis, one must remember the following mnemonic ABCDE: A means adequate sunligh t, B means avoiding bone toxins, C means adequate calcium, D means fortification or supplementation of Vitamin D and E means exercise.”

HCFI tips to prevent the risk of osteoporosis at an early age.

- Avoid bone toxins, namely, alcohol and smoking. Smoking is dangerous as it accelerates bone destruction. Excess of 80 ml of alcohol or 80 gm of   alcohol can accelerate bone destruction.
- Start Vitamin D supplementation right from when boys and girls are in the school going age. Remember, osteoporosis begins in the school going age  but manifests later in life.
- Three yoga exercises namely, Surya Namaskar, Tadasana and Vrakshasana, which involve standing on your toes or weight bearing on your toes, are    good to avoid osteoporosis.
- An adequate intake of protein in diet, combined with an adequate    intake of calcium helps increase bone density. One should aim for about 12%  of calories to come from proteins such as legumes, poultry, seafood, meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds.