Osteoporosis – Prevalence & Epidemiology
Osteoporosis is a silent pathological condition which causes gradual bone loss and impairment of bone architecture, leading to increased skeletal fragility, risk of fracture and reduced quality of life. One of the most feared and a common complication of osteoporosis is pain. Pain is a major determinant for quality of life. When osteoporosis causes painful fractures, especially of the spine, hips, it destroys independence, mobility, and a person’s social well-being. In addition, to the personal burden and impact on quality of life, the costs associated with fracture treatment and rehabilitation is huge.
Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. The elderly and postmenopausal women are considered very high risk group. The incidence of osteoporosis increases with aging and is noticed at an average age of 50–60 years in the Indian population, and osteoporotic hip fractures occur even at an earlier age in the lower socioeconomic groups. Significant progress has been made in epidemiology studies and in understanding its complex pathogenesis. However, the pathogenesis of osteoporosis is still complex and multifactorial.
Bones are fragile in osteoporosis and are prone to fractures of vertebra, limbs, and hip bone. Even small simple movements can cause fractures. The most common cause of osteoporosis pain is a spinal compression fracture. The vertebral fractures have significant complications, such as severe, back pain, functional limitations, kyphosis, height loss, and physical and psychological impairment.