One-third of women over 50 suffer osteoporosis in China
Osteoporosis has become a major health threat to Chinese over 50 years old, especially women. Over one-third of Chinese over 50 have the disease.
The high prevalence of osteoporosis among old-aged women is because of insufficient estrogen, reducing the body’s ability to absorb and use calcium, said Dr Tao Minfang from Shanghai No.6 People’s Hospital.
There are no significant symptoms of osteoporosis in the early stages, so the public have a poor awareness of the disease. Many patients do not go to hospital until suffering joint pain or fractures, doctors said.
“Bone mineral density tests can identify and evaluate the risk of osteoporosis easily, however only 3.7 percent of Chinese over 50 have received such tests,” said Dr Zhang Zhenlin, director of osteoporosis department at the hospital. Early detection and early treatment can prevent and control osteoporosis.
To educate the public and grassroots doctors about osteoporosis, a training program is to begin this year covering 3,000 doctors.
More public lectures, free consultation and tests will begin this year, Zhang said.