Osteoporosis is a disorder of the skeleton resulting in compromised bone strength, leading to an increased risk of fracture. A reduction in bone mass and strength make bones fragile, thereby fracturing easily.
Fractures usually involve the hip, spine and wrist, and are a major cause of suffering, disability and death in the elderly population.
Worldwide osteoporosis affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 years. Individuals with risk factors are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) uses low dose X-rays to produce images of the bones. It is most commonly performed on the lumbar spine and hips but sometimes also includes the distal forearm. There is a good correlation between the amount of bone measured, and bone strength. DEXA is an established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). By measuring BMD, it is possible to predict fracture risk in the same manner that measuring blood pressure can help predict the risk of stroke. A whole-body scan can also be performed depending on the indication.
How Is The Examination Done?
Modifiable risk factors that can be altered by lifestyle changes are:
Smoking and alcohol intake
Low body mass index
Poor nutrition and eating disorders.
Low dietary calcium intake.
Early menopause ( before the age of 45 or hysterectomy)
Family history of osteoporosis
Long term use of corticosteroid medication
Primary or secondary hypogonadism in men and women
Chronic diseases such as:
Intestinal Disorders: inflammatory bowel disease, chronic liver disease, Malabsorption syndrome.
Hormonal Disorders: primary hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome.
Osteodystrophy in paediatrics