Early screening program for osteoporosis launched

Cai Wenjun
Medical experts said public understanding of osteoporosis is low, and many people don't know the potential risk and damage it can do.
Cai Wenjun

About 80 million people have osteoporosis in China. The incidence among people over 50 years old is 19.2 percent. The problem is more prevalent among middle-aged and elderly women, medical experts said during a campaign to promote public awareness of osteoporosis.

During the campaign on Thursday, an early screening program was announced, enabling people to conduct self-evaluations online.

Medical experts said public understanding of osteoporosis is low, and many people don't know the potential risk and damage it poses.

"Osteoporosis can increase the risk of fractures for middle-aged and elderly people if the problem is not well under control," said Dr Yang Huilin, director of the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine's osteoporosis and rehabilitation branch. "Early screening and intervention is important. We want to improve public awareness of bone health, and push the promotion of bone mineral density tests for osteoporosis."

Osteoporosis prevention and control is important, because fractures are one of the main causes of death and disability for middle-aged and elderly people, experts said.

About 20 percent of people who fracture their hips die within a year, and 50 percent suffer from disabilities, seriously impacting their quality of life. Moreover, the risk of a second hip fracture increases by 86 percent.

Osteoporosis is a preventable and controllable disease. Proper prevention, early screening and timely treatment are all effective, according to experts, claiming China's chronic disease prevention and control plan (2017-2025) includes bone mineral density tests for people over the age of 40.

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