'Women above 50 at higher risk of hip fracture'

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New Delhi : Women who are above 50 years, suffer from higher risk of getting diagnosed with osteoporosis or weakening of bones than men leading to hip fracture, according to health expert at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS).

"80 per cent of osteoporosis cases are found in women. Every one woman out of two aged above 50 suffers from the risk of getting diagnosed from osteoporosis. Only 20 per cent men suffer from chances of osteoporosis as it arises after the age of 80," said Dr Rajesh Malhotra, Head, Dept of Orthopaedics, AIIMS said at sidelines of an event "Strong Bones Healthy and Safe Aging" organised here on Thursday.

According to Malhotra, women undergo hormonal changes after menopause which leads to weakening or loss of bones further enhancing chances of hip fracture in elderly called "Hip Attack" which is as serious and life threatening as heart or brain attack.

"Most patients are women for osteoporosis. Their height starts reducing and which is also an indicator of hip attack. If one vertebra damages, then the risk of another vertebra damage increases by 2.5 times. And if anyone faces vertebra fracture than 20 per cent of the patients are likely to face another fracture within a year," he added.

According to the medical expert, the elderly population are at risk for sustaining fragility fractures due to weak bones as a result of age associated with osteoporosis. These fractures are sinister and often lead to death or disability. Survivors are left crippled and are prone to more fractures in future.

"If around 15 lakh cases are being reported now, this number is going to multiply six times by 2050 only in Asia. Hip fractures are going to become an epidemic in coming few years in India,"

Apart from more awareness, Malhotra said the government needs to formulate policies on osteoporosis as it is emerging as a major health concern.

"Multidisciplinary care units need to be build which should involve geriatricians, orthopaedic surgeons, intensivists, anesthetists, endocrinologists, rehabilitation specialists, nurses and physiotherapists,"

At AIIMS, six beds have been reserved in the trauma centre for treatment related to osteoporosis while in the geriatric centre which is under construction, one OT and beds have been reserved for the same purpose.