World Osteoporosis Day: Physician at the Icaraí Hospital reminds that the disease affects approximately 200 million people worldwide | SEGS

Today, World and National Osteoporosis Day is celebrated, a campaign created to raise awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, a problem that, according to data from the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) affects about ten million people in Brazil.

Osteoporosis is the most common osteometabolic disease, being often underdiagnosed and undertreated. It is characterized by decreased bone mass, leading to increased bone fragility and fracture. Fractures can cause pain, physical disability, deformities and reduced quality of life. Hip fractures are the most serious, with a 20% increase in mortality after the first year. More than 50% of patients who survive a hip fracture are unable to maintain their independence.

As explained by Dr. Jaqueline Pais, an endocrinologist at the Hospital Icaraí, the most common cause of disease presentation is postmenopausal osteoporosis, resulting from the increased rate of bone remodeling, related to estrogen deficiency, but also secondary causes of loss of bone mass, such as corticotherapy, presence of risk factors such as smoking, low weight, parental history of hip fracture and alcohol consumption.

“Post-menopausal osteoporosis is a global health problem, considering the large number of women affected, and the growing prevalence (due to the aging of the population and treatment costs)”, warns the doctor.

Osteoporosis affects about 200 million people worldwide and it is estimated that, from the age of 50, about 50% of women and 20% of men will suffer an osteoporotic fracture throughout their lives.

It can be classified as primary, when associated with menopause or aging, or secondary, when there is a well-established causal factor such as medications (mainly glucocorticoids) or other diseases.

“It is an asymptomatic disease until the occurrence of a fragility fracture, which is the main manifestation of osteoporosis, occurring more frequently in vertebrae, followed by the hip and distal radius. Bone densitometry is the method of choice in the diagnosis of osteoporosis and osteopenia”, adds Jaqueline.

The doctor reminds that the goal of the treatment is to prevent fractures and that the non-pharmacological treatment involves a healthy diet, prevention of falls and physical exercise programs.

“The pharmacological treatment, on the other hand, includes calcium, vitamin D and drugs active in the bone tissue such as anti-resorptives or bone formation stimulators”, he concludes.