In 30 Years, Osteoporosis Will Double in Latin America, According To Experts

The disease that mainly affects those over 60 years of age could be prevented through densitometry, a painless test that detects the pathology early .

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LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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Leer en español: En 30 años la osteoporosis de duplicará en Latinoamérica, según expertos

The Osteoporosis Summit 2022, a congress that took place in Cancun and was organized by the biotechnology company Amgen, left important reflections on bone health and the challenges that must be addressed in the near future. In the event that was attended by more than 650 specialists in the area of osteoporosis from different parts of the world, they discussed this disease that affects thousands of people annually and the possibility that these cases will double in the next thirty years in Latin America.

Therefore, in the middle of the congress, the importance of promoting prevention and timely diagnosis was highlighted to mitigate the incidence of fractures caused by osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis and how does it affect people?

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease that is mainly characterized by decreased bone density. In other words, this pathology causes the size of the cavities inside the bones to increase, therefore, they become more fragile. That is why a person suffering from osteoporosis is very vulnerable to fractures.

On the other hand, this disease is classified as a silent epidemic since the symptoms do not appear until there is a significant loss of bone tissue. In general, the most common fractures that occur are in the vertebral, hip and wrist.

What was said at Summit 2022?

The objective of the Summit 2022 in Mexico was (as every year) to share a space for professionals in the bone field, where it was possible to deepen experiences and therapeutic novelties for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Likewise, it was possible to highlight the great importance of Fracture Coordination Units in hospitals, as one of the main issues that must be taken into action in patients with a high risk of fracture.

Now, the company Amgen (organizer of the event) seeks through these processes of updating knowledge to implement alternatives that reduce the risk of fractures in the coming years. Therefore, it is essential that this disease be seen as a priority in the medium and long term because the prevalence in the region is high.

Also read: What Is Impostor Syndrome And How To Overcome It?

What is the prevalence of osteoporosis in Latin America?

According to the article published on the web portal of the EFE Agency on osteoporosis, in the region more than 57% of patients who have been diagnosed with the disease are not receiving adequate treatment. Therefore, it highlights how essential UCFs can be to offer better services in the health system and provide quality of life to patients.

While Max Saráchaga, medical director of Amgen Mexico, points out that it is likely that by 2050 the population over 60 years of age will have doubled and, likewise, osteoporotic fractures will increase, generating a public health problem if actions are not taken. 

The incidence in Mexico could increase up to 76%, taking into account that currently one in three women over 50 years of age suffers from osteoporosis, but only 20% are aware of it.

How to prevent it?

Given the imminent fact that arises in the future about osteoporosis and current realities, different alternatives have been designed to prevent the disease, preventing cases from rising and patients from enjoying adequate treatment.

In this way, the company Amgen has created a program called Post Fracture Care, which consists of offering training, diagnosis, treatment and other resources so that health personnel are prepared and can meet the expectations of experts: mitigate the incidence.

According to information from the EFE Agency, the PFC program has already been successfully implemented in 22 hospitals. Therefore, it has focused on early diagnosis through increased bone densitometry tests, which together with treatment will be able to prevent four million fractures.

However, the challenge faced in Mexico and in the rest of the region is that there is no culture of prevention regarding osteoporosis. That is why it is important to encourage everyone (regardless of their gender) to become aware of and take into account the need to be tested on time .

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