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      Osteoporosis in Indians.

      The Indian Journal of Medical Research

      Bone Density, therapy, epidemiology, diagnosis, Vitamin D Deficiency, Risk Factors, Osteoporosis, Life Style, India, Humans

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          Abstract

          Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass with micro architectural deterioration of bone tissue leading to enhance bone fragility, thus increasing the susceptibility to fracture. Although exact numbers are not available, based on available data and clinical experience, on estimated 25 million Indians may be affected. Osteoporotic fractures in India occur commonly in both sexes, and may occur at a younger age than in the West. Recently published data have clearly demonstrated widespread vitamin D deficiency across India, at all ages and in both sexes, particularly in the urban areas. Poor sunlight exposure, skin pigmentation and a vitamin D-deficient diet are some obvious causes for this finding. Indians have low BMD as compared to the western Caucasians. This could be attributed to differences in skeletal size; however, the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is a major factor in the low BMD and poor bone health of Indians. Healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise and sunlight exposure) can have a major positive impact on the bone metabolism and bone health of Indians. These public health measures are recommended for the population at large as they are efficacious, safe and cost-effective. The peak bone mass of the population can be increased significantly by appropriate and timely intervention in children. Pharmacological interventions are expensive and should therefore be targeted to only those at high risk of fractures.

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