Sun, Oct 21, 2012 - Page 3 News List

DOH calls attention to international osteoporosis day

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

About 10.2 percent of men and 25.2 percent of women above the age of 50 have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, the Department of Health said yesterday on World Osteoporosis Day.

The Bureau of Health Promotion (BHP) said that a report from the International Osteoporosis Foundation’s (IOF) showed that among people above 50 years old, about one out of every two women and one out of every five men may suffer fragility fractures. The report also showed that fragility fractures in elderly people often occur in the hip bones rather than other body parts.

Hipbone fractures may also lead to disabilities, death and economic burdens, the BHP said, adding that about 20 to 24 percent of hip fracture patients die within a year of sustaining their injury, and about 40 percent of the patients cannot walk in the first year.

The aim of this year’s World Osteoporosis Day, designated by the IOF, was “stop at one,” which means proper treatment and evaluation are necessary to prevent repeated fractures, the BHP said, adding that about half of the people who have suffered a fragility fracture could face the problem again.

Citing the Ministry of the Interior’s population statistics for last year, the bureau said an estimated 352,000 men and 921,000 women suffer from osteoporosis, adding that bone mass usually reaches its peak between 20 to 30 years old and the loss of bone density in women increases rapidly following the menopause.

BHP Director-General Chiu Shu-ti (邱淑媞) urged developing bone mass as early as possible by taking in more high-calcium food, such as milk, cheese, black sesame and fish, getting sunlight to increase the production of vitamin D in the body and frequent exercise to strengthen bones.

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