Is Osteoporosis a public health problem?

This disease must be considered a public health priority in Latin America, given the enormous impact on the health of patients and the economic sector

Osteoporosis: how is Latin America going?

Last week, it was the world day of osteoporosis, a chronic disease that makes decreased tissue and bone mass. With this condition, according to the Spanish Rheumatology Foundation, the bones become more porous, resist the blows worse, and break more easily.

Leer en español: Osteoporosis: ¿cómo va América Latina?

Considering this date, Americas Health Foundation (AHF) announced the publication of a consensus statement prepared by a panel of experts in osteoporosis, according to which this disease should be considered a public health priority in Latin America, given its enormous impact.

The article, "Declaration of consensus: prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in Latin America – current structure and future directions," available online, will soon be published in the December 2018 edition of the Archives of Osteoporosis with some recommendations to improve prevention, the diagnosis, and treatment of the disease in Latin America.

According to the panel of experts, rates of hip fractures in women 50 years old and older range from 53 to 443 per 100,000 people and from 27 to 135 per 100,000 people in men 50 years and older. In Mexico and Brazil, the number of hip fractures per year is expected to reach approximately 160,000 in each country by 2050.

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"Despite the importance of an effective treatment to prevent fractures, osteoporosis is still poorly treated in Latin America, where health systems are fragmented and coordination is needed within countries," said Dr. Monique Chalem, co-author and Rheumatologist at the Santafe Foundation in Bogotá, Colombia. "Almost a quarter of the population does not seek care for osteoporosis due to geographic barriers. In addition, although there are low-cost pharmacological treatments, patients may have access problems depending on their insurance coverage for more specialized treatments that are medically indicated".

Tips to prevent osteoporosis from childhood:

• The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes the consumption of two servings of nonfat dairy products per day in children and adolescents, and an increase to three dairy products in pregnant and post-menopausal women, due to the increased risk of presenting calcium deficiencies.
"The adequate consumption of these minerals, coupled with a good level of physical activity and not smoking, are associated with very beneficial effects in the mineralization of our bones," says Juan José Rojas, professor of nutrition and diet of the Pacific university.
• According to the ABC newspaper, regular physical activity is essential. Activities such as dancing, walking, cycling, or going to the gym have beneficial effects on bone and muscle health.
• Prevent falls in older people due to the risk of fractures. Avoid, then, slippery surfaces, carpets, wear shoes with non-slip soles and have good lighting are some of the actions that can be performed.
• Take sunbaths, as this activates vitamin D.


LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez
Translated from “Osteoporosis: ¿cómo va América Latina?”


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