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October 21, 2010

‘Osteoporosis a silent killer’

National

October 21, 2010

Karachi
Osteoporosis (brittleness of the bones) is a silent killer and every hospital should have free screening and test facilities to detect the onset of the disease, said medical experts on Wednesdat at a seminar to mark the World Osteoporosis Day.
The seminar was sponsored by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman Memorial Society, the Pakistan Orthopaedic Association, Pakistan Menopause Society, the
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Society of Oncologists, and the Pakistan Medical Association.
The speakers explained that in order to arrest the incidence of the disease, a mass public awareness campaign should be launched, both at the government and the private level.
The seminar was presided over by the Editor, Health, Education, and Current Affairs, Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman Society, Wasif Nagi. The other participants included: Orthopaedics Association President Dr Khan Shah Azam; secretary-General,Pakistan Orthopaedics Association, Dr Parvez Anjum; consultant haemotologist, Aga Khan University Hospital Dr Saleha Ishaq; Secretary-General, Pakistan Medical Association, Dr Habibur Rehman Soomro; President, Pakistan Menopause Society, Dr Rubina Hussain; and the Member, Executive committee, society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Pakistan, Dr Samrina Hashmi, addressed the seminar.
Dr Shah Azam, in his address, said that bone fractures on account of osteoporisis were very common. Bone fractures, he said, didn’t just affect an individual. The whole family was affected. As such, he said, the best way out was to prevent these fractures and the best way to achieve that was to keep osteoporisis away through preventive measures. He said that 50 percent of the victims of hip bone fractures died before their appointed hour.
Dr Saleha Parvez in her address, said, that old age was held synonymous with certain diseases by our society and their occurrence in old age was taken for granted and osteoporisis was one of them. She said this was a

misconception and that osteoporisis could be prevented. She further said that intake of calcium and vitamin-D were ideal prevention. However, intake should start from the very childhood. She said that the final formation of the bones occurred between the ages of 25 and 30 after which the process of slow degeneration began as calcium and vitamin-D began to be discharged from the bones. She said that a common conception was that osteoporisis was a women’s disease. She said, that even though it was considered basically a women’s disease, it was worth noting that the incidence of mortality among men from osteoporisis was much higher. She said that men, after 60, must undergo the BMD test to determine their vulnerability to the disorder.
Dr Samrina Hashmi said that osteoporosis in our country was far more prevalent among women than among men because, the male child was given far greater nutrition than his female counterpart whereas female children must be given a more nutritious diet because a girl has to become a mother and transfer the calcium in her body to the children. She said that a girl child must be made to consume at least two glasses of milk daily as milk plays a pivotal role in strengthening the bones. However, if there are girls or women who don’t like milk or cannot afford the required daily intake, they must consume lots of greens, fish, milk, cheese, and pumpkin, to make up for the shortage of calcium and vitamin-D in their bodies.
Dr Rubina Hussain stressed the right lifestyle entailing lots of exercise and the right kind of diet to prevent the onset of osteoporisis. She said that according to the national health survey, 45 percent of the women fell victim to osteoporisis after menopause of whom 24 percent fell victim to osteoporosis-related complications.
Dr Parvez Anjum said that if a person got the right amount of calcium and vitamin-D from childhood, the incidence of the disease could be avoided. He told the participants that osteoporosis renders the bones so weak that they can break with the least of impact or even without it.

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