Body Health Mind Health – Rajesh Yagnik
A study conducted by a famous hospital in Mumbai has come to an alarming conclusion that three out of every five women above 40 years of age in Mumbai are suffering from osteopenia. Almost everyone suffers from the problem of weak bones as they age. But the findings of the study on women here are sobering.
What are the reasons?
According to doctors, the following reasons can be considered responsible for making bones brittle in women.
Vitamin D deficiency
Chronic diabetes or kidney problems
Lack of physical exercise
What exactly is the problem?
Osteoporosis and osteopenia are conditions in which bone density is reduced, which can increase the risk of fractures, chronic pain and loss of mobility. In osteoporosis, bones become weak and brittle, making them more susceptible to breaking. Osteopenia is a mild form of bone loss that can progress to osteoporosis if left untreated. This condition is common in women of pre and postmenopausal age groups.
How was the study conducted?
This study was conducted by Dr. Gayatri Deshpande, Senior Consultant and Dr. Jhanvi Lalchandani, Assistant Medical Officer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, performed on 5034 patients during a period of 18 months from September 2021 to February 2023.
To avoid biasing the study, the researchers excluded high-risk groups such as women with osteoporosis or osteopenia, a current or past history of cancer, and a previous diagnosis of fracture, and only considered women over the age of 40.
After excluding high-risk groups, the study analyzed data from 1,921 women aged 40-95 who underwent a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan that measures bone mass density.
Which part of the body has more problems?
The problem of bone weakening can be classified into four main categories.
Waist part, hip part, hip part, full body
To the researchers’ surprise, of the 1,921 women in the study, 519, or 27 percent, had osteoporosis, while 1,222, or 64 percent, had osteopenia. Naturally, this problem was also observed to increase with increasing age. Almost half (48 percent) of women in the 61-80 age group suffered from osteopenia of the femoral neck.
Effect of osteopenia of the femoral neck
Women with this type of problem may experience the following effects depending on the severity of the problem.
Increased risk of hip fracture
Impaired physical mobility
Problems maintaining balance
Decreased quality of life
Cause of death in some cases
One in five women in the study had been diagnosed with osteoporosis at the hip. The following effects are observed due to this problem.
Compression or fracture of the spine
Dowager’s hump (deformity in the spine)
risk of falling
“Women, on a daily basis, suffer unspeakably during simple tasks like folding a lot, turning a door knob, turning a car steering wheel or walking on a slippery floor or sandy beach. Due to these conditions
Bone fractures can lead to hospitalization, surgery, and long-term disability. Such studies will help us prevent these situations in the future, Dr. Deshpande said.
The results of the study highlight the importance of targeted screening and prevention strategies. Osteopenia can be treated, but osteoporosis cannot be reversed. Thus, regular check-ups, including a bone density scan performed specifically using Dexa technology, are recommended every five years for women over the age of 30.
Regular check-ups are also important to maintain good bone health. During a check-up, doctors can assess the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases by evaluating a patient’s medical history, lifestyle factors, and family history. Based on the evaluation, doctors may recommend preventive measures, such as calcium and vitamin D supplements, weight-bearing exercises, and medications.
Housewives, especially middle class and lower middle class and poor housewives are living in a state of ignorance despite being aware of their health. Sometimes due to problems like lack of time, sometimes lack of money, health checkups are avoided. It is high time that the society strives to improve the quality of life of women by focusing on this problem of women who are unable to improve the quality of life of the family.